Energy School - RE - Hydropower

Hydropower is extracted from a flow of water, and is used to generate electricity. Hydropower schemes can range from electricity generation from water gathered behind large dams, to small schemes of just a few kilowatts capacity from rivers or streams.

Hydropower already provides over 17% of the world’s electricity. Europe, with about 12 GW of hydropower, is the second largest generator of hydropower, just behind Asia . About 7% of Europe’s hydropower is generated by small schemes of 10MW or less. Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden are currently the leading countries for hydropower in Europe.


  • Positive environment effects such as flood control
  • Reduced land requirements
  • Proven and reliable technology


  • High initial costs
  • May disrupt natural flow of rivers, causing damage to ecosystem
  • In times of drought hydropower cannot generate electricity
  • Possibility of flooding

Want to know more?

EREC >>>
EU Hydropower news >>>
International hydropower association >>>
International center for hydropower >>>
Small hydropower association >>>


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