Hydropower is a well-established electricity system on the global scene. Global electricity needs by far exceed the amount of electricity that hydrosystems can provide to meet global electricity needs. Much of the world's hydropower remains to be brought into production. Improved technology, better calibrated environmental parameters for large projects have become the norm in the past 15 years. How and why does hydropower retain a prominent role in electricity production? How and why does hydropower find social acceptance in diverse social systems? How does hydropower project planning address issues beyond electricity generation? How does the systems approach to hydropower installations further analysis of comparative energy sources powering electricity systems? Attention to the environmental impact of hydropower facilities forms an integral part of systems analysis. Similarly, the technical, political and economic variables call for balanced analysis to identify the viability status of hydro projects. Economic competition among energy systems requires in context assessments as these shape decision making in planning of hydropower systems. Moreover, technological change has to be given a time frame during which the sector advances in productivity and share in expanding electricity generation. The low production costs per kWh assure hydropower at this juncture, 2009, a very viable future.
Hydropower's Future, the Environment, and Global Electricity System
Sternberg, R. (2010). Hydropower's Future, the Environment, and Global Electricity System. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 14(2), 713-723.