World Facts

Top 10 Countries For Hydroelectricity Utilization

Countries from around the world have turned their abundance of water into an alternative source of power generation.


The hydroelectric power generation process is power generation operations to turn flowing water of canals and rivers into a source of renewable energy. The largest hydroelectric power producing countries possess abundant natural water resources. To generate electricity using the hydroelectric process, what is needed is to concentrate a large amount of water in the dams, thus ensuring high head. This water starts to rotate a turbine coupled to a generator. Most countries of the world have the required river potential to establish dams and begin initiate renewable energy production.

The Leading Nations In Hydroelectricity Utilization


Albania has a great resource of rivers and is the largest hydropower producer in Europe. The convenient location of the country, as well as independence from power constraints of the European Union, nurtures the growth of export earnings from the sale of electricity to European neighbors. This fact may contribute to the construction of the station in Devoll and Skavica, with a total capacity of 800 MW.


The Dam Itaipu on the border between Paraguay and Brazil supplies more than a half of Paraguay's demand in electric power and gives the country electricity export incomes from neighboring Brazil and Argentina. However, infrastructural losses are high too due to the need of modernization of the whole industry.


Tajikistan take pride having the world's tallest dam built in 1975, with the highest point at 300-metre. To a heave the region's net supplier status Tajikistan needs to complete just one project, the Rogun power plant, planned back in Soviet time. The government of the country is currently facing two major problems. One is the lack of investment capital for the expensive project and the second is neighboring Uzbekistan's disapproval of the new dam, potentially threatening cotton crops in downstream waters.


Nepal's biggest advantage is the lands on the porch of the Himalayas with the richest fresh water arteries in the whole region. Export of electricity power is on a constant rise, yet the country is experiencing a shortage of contemporary technologies resulting in electricity transmission losses. China is an eager customer but wiring the electrical cables in mountainous north Nepal is still a challenge for the power supply companies.


The river Zambezi is the primary source of hydro energy for Zambia and neighboring countries. The river basin occupies the largest portion of country's territory. With only 25% of the country supplied with access to electricity and slow but steady economic growth, Zambia is still in need for 6000 MW per year which could only be achieved by new power station instalment. The Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project was launched in 2015 due to completion by 2018, marking a new stage in the country's electrification.

DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo has enough hydroelectric power potential to light up a large part of the continent. The Congo River, one of the largest in Africa, is the most powerful too. On the way to the Atlantic Ocean, it flows through nine countries. At a distance of 150 km from its mouth, the river has the mightiest hydropower potential with Inga Falls station transforming it into useful electric energy.


Mozambique could claim to be the leader in whole sub-Saharan Africa with 13,000 MW of combined electro-generation units. The Zambezi Valley hosts African electro power Klondike, storing 85% of water resources to extract all energy needed for the county's use.


The European nation Norway is well known for its sufficiency in both oil and hydro resources. Mountainous relief provides a sufficient supply of water flow, enough to guaranty the country's survival in the northern climate zone and provide 96% of overall domestic electric demand. A few companies are developing wind energy on the windy Norwegian northern islands, boosting the country's name as the Scandinavian energetic typhoon.


Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the African continent. The growth could have been even more impressive, if not constrained by shortages of electrical supply in production. The demand for electricity is expected to grow by 12.3% each year till 2030 when Ethiopia expects to enter the club of developed countries.


Ruacana Power Station is one of the oldest and the most powerful to date in Namibia. Cunene River forms the large Ruacana reservoir, the water base to rotate Ruacana Power Station turbines and provide 330 MW of electric energy, which is more than the domestic needs, thus a lucrative export commodity for Namibia. Thermal power plant construction well complements the existing power system of the country and is the subject of priority for upcoming economic growth supply.

Considerations For The Future

With the world population growing at a fast rate, the future demands for electricity is predicted to rise sharply. Under such circumstances, hydroelectric power is going to play a vital role in ensuring the electricity requirements of the world's nations are met. However, the construction of dams and hydroelectric power stations come at a high cost. Ecological disturbance created by dam construction is a major environmental threat. Thus, the countries face considerable challenges in developing their hydroelectric power plants. Future hydroelectricity projects thus need to be carefully and wisely planned to reduce the chances of environmental damages incurred by the implementation of such projects.

Top 10 Countries For Hydroelectricity Utilization

RankCountry % of Electricity derived from Hydroelectric Generation
1Albania 100%
2Paraguay 100%
3Tajikistan 99.7%
4Nepal 99.7%
5Zambia 99.7%
6DR Congo 99.6%
7Mozambique 97.7%
8Norway 96.0%
9Ethiopia 95.6%
10Namibia 95.6%


Your MLA Citation

Your APA Citation

Your Chicago Citation

Your Harvard Citation

Remember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.


More in World Facts