Tech Notes

IEA report predicts status of renewables through 2017

Renewable electricity growth should accelerate from 2011 to 2017, expanding by 1,840 TW, compared with growth of 1,160 TWh from 2005 to 2011. Global renewable electricity production was 4,540 TWh in 2011 and should reach almost 6,400 TWh in 2017. These are just some findings in Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market 2012 released by the International Energy Agency.

Non-hydro renewable development is becoming increasingly widespread, with growth shifting beyond traditional support markets in Europe, the report indicates.

Of the 710 GW of global renewable electricity capacity additions expected from 2011 to 2017, China accounts for 270 GW, the USA 56 GW, India 39 GW, Germany and Brazil 32 GW each. In 2017, non-OECD countries should account for 65% of hydropower generation and almost 40% of non-hydro generation.

Hydro production has grown by 630 TWh since 2005, and in 2011 it accounted for 80% of total renewable generation. Hydropower will remain the largest contributor, but its share should diminish, dropping to an anticipated 70% in 2017. From 2011 to 2017, hydropower generation is expected to grow 120 TWh per year, pushing total capacity to 1,200 GW from 1,070 GW in 2011.

Hydropower represents an economically attractive source of renewable energy in countries with good resource potential. Hydropower deployment can scale up renewable generation and meet power needs in emerging and developed countries while providing the flexibility needed to integrate a projected large amount of variable renewable electricity. Growth is expected to occur in: China, 110 GW; Brazil, 21 GW; OECD Europe, 19 GW; Africa, 14 GW; and India 13 GW.

IEA says this new annual publication provides a key benchmark, assessing the current state of play of renewable energy, identifying the main drivers and barriers to deployment, and projecting renewable electricity capacity and generation through 2017.

— The report can be purchased for prices starting at €80 (US$105), depending on format and number of people accessing, at

Online worldwide renewable energy map available

An interactive map of renewable energy throughout the world is available from the REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century).

The map, at, allows user to search by technology, including hydropower and ocean energy. Once a technology is chosen, users can refine the search by topic:

— Policies, which covers financial incentives, public financing and regulatory policies;

— Targets, which are primary energy, final energy, electricity, heating/cooling consumption, heating/cooling, transport, rural energy and not specified;

— Shares, which are primary energy, electricity production, final energy, electricity consumption, heating/cooling production, heating/cooling consumption and heating/cooling;

— Installed capacity;

— Energy production; and

— Renewable energy economy, which covers jobs and manufacturing.

Selecting installed capacity provides results in 89 countries, from Argentina to Zambia. Choosing Mozambique provides information on all the above topics and indicates total installed renewable electricity capacity in 2009 (most recent data available) of 2.179 GW and total installed hydropower capacity in 2010 of 2,308 MW.

Users also can click on a specific country and get data on all of the topics.

REN21 connects governments, international organizations, industry associations, and science and academia. Its goal is to facilitate knowledge exchange, policy development and joint action toward a rapid global transition to renewable energy.

IHA partners with China Society for Hydropower Engineering

The International Hydropower Assoc-iation and China Society for Hydropower Engineering (CSHE) have announced a collaboration that will lead to establishment of an IHA National Office in China.

IHA said CSHE is China's leading hydropower organization, with 40,000 individual members, 203 corporate members and 22 provincial hydroelectric engineering societies. CHSE will work to promote IHA's Hydropower Sustainability Protocol, which has been adopted by organizations in 28 countries.

Vietnam to investigate dam safety after recent incidents

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called for improvements to the country's dam safety protocol, partially in response to incidents and concerns associated with hydro plants in 2012.

If a new piece of legislation is approved, project owners and operators will be subject to dam safety standards established by Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade. Penalties include fines of up to about US$10,000, with the potential for operating licenses to be revoked if safety checks and repairs are not completed. This and other measures are expected to be submitted for approval in the second quarter of this year.

Operations may be suspended at plants operating in violation of safety regulations, and resettlement zones will be checked to assess living conditions. Dung's declaration also included measures for a more stringent project approval process.

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