The growth of hydroelectricity in Latin America’s power generation mix will peak in the next decade before tapering off after 2030 as non-conventional renewables continue their rapid expansion, according to the latest BP Energy Outlook.
According to BNamericas, the report foresees average annual hydropower output growth in South and Central America of 17.7 TWh between 2017 and 2030, compared to 7.7 TWh from 2005 to 2017. The figure is expected to fall to 7.3T Wh from 2030 to 2040 in BP’s core evolving transition (ET) scenario.
Among the countries listed, only China will witness faster energy generation growth from hydroelectric dams in the next decade, expanding 21.9 TWh annually, the British energy giant says. The Asian nation is also seen experiencing the sharpest fall in annual output gains – in percentage terms – in the 2030s as expected growth dips to 7.0 TWh a year.
Global hydropower output is projected to climb 1.3% a year to 2040.
“This is much slower than the growth seen over the past 20 years, as the previous rapid expansion in Chinese hydro power subsides,” the report says. “In the ET scenario, China remains the largest source of growth, but the increases in hydro power become more broadly based, with Other Asia, Latin America and Africa all recording material increases,” it adds.
Non-conventional renewables, led by wind and solar power, will displace coal as the world’s main power source by 2040 following annual growth of 7.1%, according to BP. Its share of primary energy is seen increasing from 4% today to about 15% by 2040.
But the world will still remain largely dependent on fossil fuels, with peak oil demand occurring in the 2030s in the report’s ET scenario. BP anticipates a more important role for natural gas, which is seen overtaking coal as the second largest global energy source by the end of the outlook period following annual demand growth of 1.7%. Meanwhile coal use will decline 0.1% a year to its lowest level since before the industrial revolution, BP says.