Global Small Hydropower Market: Snapshot
The last few years have been extremely profitable for the global small hydropower market with government bodies around the world rooting for renewable sources of energy. Besides being eco-friendly, small hydro plants make a clean source of renewable energy and also one of the cheapest ones available in the market today. Spurred by these factors, the global small hydropower market is poised to exhibit a robust growth between 2015 and 2023.
Small hydro power plants have a life span of nearly 50 years hence make a reliable and economical source of energy. In addition, setting up these plants require low capital investment considering they require minimum reservoirs and civil construction works. Transparency Market Research (TMR) adds that operational and maintenance cost incurred in any small hydropower plant is seldom over 2% to 3% of the overall capital cost.
TMR however forecasts a moderate CAGR of 2.85% by installed capacity for the global small hydropower market between 2015 and 2023. At this pace, the installed capacity of the market, which stood at 94.70 GW in 2014, is expected to reach 146.65 GW before 2023 ends.
Asia Pacific to Emerge Dominant in Global Small Hydropower Market
Regionally, Asia Pacific held a clear dominance in the global small hydropower market with a share of 70.29% in 2014. The Asia Pacific market can be further classified into India, Japan, China, and Rest of Asia Pacific. Both India and China boast strong rural electrification initiatives, which have been accelerating the demand for renewable sources of energy, and thus the small hydropower market in the region.
Some of the most prominent hydropower projects in the region include Siemens AG, Alstom AG, and Voith GmbH. Besides these international names, the Asia Pacific market also has a considerable representation by domestic players. Besides the increasing demand for power, favorable initiatives in place across emerging economies have been giving impetus to the market. For instance, the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yogjna (RGGVY) promotes technologies such as small hydropower, which can supply off-grid power to areas witnessing electricity deficit.
While China is currently leading the Asia Pacific small hydropower market in terms of installed capacity, positive outlook is also projected across countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
Europe is Expected to Retain its Position as Second-leading Market for Small Hydropower
Besides Asia Pacific, the market will also witness opportunities across Europe, North America, South and Central America, and the Middle East and Africa. Among these nations, Europe holds considerable potential for growth. The small hydropower market in Europe currently held a share of 12.91% in the global market based on installed capacity in 2014. Over the course of the forecast period, Europe is expected to retain its position as one of the leading markets for small hydropower in the world. Furthermore, the increasing share of renewable energy in Italy and Russia played a major role in augmenting demand from the small hydropower market in Europe.
Some of the leading companies operating in the global small hydropower market are ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH, Voith GmbH, BC Hydro, Alstom S.A., and StatKraft AS.