Over the last two decades, global electricity production has more than doubled, and electricity demand is rising rapidly around the world as economic development spreads to emerging economies. Therefore, technical, economic and environmental benefits of hydroelectric power make it an important contributor to the future world energy mix, particularly in the developing countries. In addition, small hydropower (SHP) represents an alternative to fossil fuel generation and does not contribute to either greenhouse gas emissions or other atmospheric pollutants. However, developing the remaining hydropower potential offers many challenges, and pressures from some environmental action groups over its impact has tended to increase over time. Hydropower throughout the world provides 17% of our electricity from an installed capacity of some 730 GW is currently under construction, making hydropower by far the most important renewable energy for electrical power production. The contribution of SHP to the worldwide electrical capcity is more of a similar scale to the other renewable energy sources (1-2% of total capacity), amounting to about 47 GW (53%) of this capacity in developing countries. This paper is limited to small hydropower plants in some developing countries such as China, India and Turkey.
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