Canada, home to about 475 hydroelectric plants with a capacity of 70,000 MW, produces about 355 terawatt-hours of hydropower each year. But Canada's untapped potential is far greater.
According to a study commissioned by the Canadian Hydropower Association, Canada has 163,000 MW of untapped hydropower potential, more than twice the country's existing hydropower capacity.
In the latest Electric Power Research Institute Journal, an article titled "Hydropower Reservoirs: A Question of Emissions" notes that reservoirs used for hydropower and for pumped-hydro energy storage are not necessarily as green as you might imagine. Or rather, they might be too green: carbon-rich organic material that accumulates on the reservoir floor can be the source of carbon emissions. A recent study of the 90-year-old Lake Wohlen, in Switzerland, for example, found high emissions of methane, as recently reported in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, in an article titled: "Extreme Methane Emissions from a Swiss Hydropower Reservoir: Contribution from Bubbling Sediments."
RER and its partners will demonstrate the TREK technology, a modular, covered, self-anchoring and highly robust river turbine. This technology can be used to provide baseload, dispatchable or remote electricity. The project will see the installation of two 250 kilowatt-rated TREK turbines in the St. Lawrence River, near the Old Port of Montreal, by the end of 2010
After we saw how to produce electricity using magnets or wind power, it is time to talk about those people who live near a river.
In this case, the best way to produce electricity is represented by a small-scale hydroelectric generator made at home. Often called as a low-impact hydro, micro-hydro or run-of-stream hydro generator, this system is not very hard to build.
The Oil Drum | A North American Energy Plan for 2030: Hydro-electricity the forgotten r... - 0 views
Hydro energy’s potential may be overlooked because; it is “old” renewable energy, or because like nuclear energy, some hydro electric schemes have been criticized by environmental groups, but most importantly a perception by many, that most hydro electric potential in North America has already been exploited. Hydro electricity deserves more scrutiny because;
1) North America has significant undeveloped potential,
2) the technology is well understood, although technical improvements continue to be made, especially for low head and small hydro,
3) hydro has a very high energy return on energy investment (ERoEI),
4) additional hydro can enable more wind and solar energy capacity to be absorbed by the grid,
5) hydro potential is more geographically dispersed than wind and solar, and finally,
6) the cost of developing additional hydro capacity is moderately low and has very low technical and financial risk.
The energy sources that Jacobson found most promising were, in descending order:
• Concentrated solar power (mirrors heating a tower of water)
• Geothermal energy
• Tidal energy
• Solar panels
• Wave energy
• Hydroelectric dams
China views small hydropower (plants up to 25 MW capacity) as a means to achieve rural electrification and tailors its policies to achieve this.