Africa Small Hydropower Market: Overview
Small hydropower (<10 MW) as compared to hydropower in Africa is an increasingly attractive solution in the countries of Africa. Renewable energy is developing at a rapid pace and hydropower remains the most explored and primary source of clean energy. Small hydropower converts the energy of the flowing water into electricity by using a turbine coupled to a generator. It has high capacity utilization and plant availability factor which results in maximum availability of plant for generation. Majorly, the run of river and already existing water infrastructure are considered which contributes to the generation of small hydro plants.
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Hydroelectric energy is the cleanest form of renewable generation as it does not releases any harmful gases, carbon dioxide and other pollutant which directly or indirectly affects the environment. The plants are generally off grid and is widely used in rural areas where there is no electricity supply. It has no fuel cost and low operational and maintenance cost makes it one of the cheapest source of energy. Small hydro plants has the efficiency over 90% which makes it most efficient and favorable energy among the other renewable sources.
The lifespan of small hydropower plants are more as compared to larger hydropower plants. Generally the life span is up-to 50 years and this make it a reliable and economical source of energy conversion. Small hydro has high capacity utilization factor up to 50% which results in higher output as compared to wind and solar power which accounts for 25% and 20% respectively. Small hydro plant can be operated continuously at any temperature and wind condition which makes it economical and flexible.
Africa Small Hydropower Market: Scope of the Study
In order to compile the research report, we conducted in-depth interviews and discussions with a number of key industry participants and opinion leaders. Combination of top down and bottom up approach has been used to estimate market size. Some of the underlying estimation factors such as the number of small hydro plants, potential sites, and capacities (installed and potential) have also been measured. Impact of increasing installation of renewable energy capacity was also considered while drawing trends and forecasts for each regional market.
Primary research represented the bulk of research efforts, supplemented by extensive secondary research. We reviewed key players’ product literature, annual reports, press releases, and relevant documents for competitive analysis and market understanding. Secondary research includes a search of recent trade, technical writing, Internet sources, and statistical data from government websites, trade associations and agencies. This has proven to be the most reliable, effective, and successful approach for obtaining precise market data, capturing industry participants’ insights, and recognizing business opportunities.
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Secondary research sources that are typically referred to include, but are not limited to company websites, annual reports, financial reports, broker reports, investor presentations, SEC filings, Smallhydroworld.org, hydroworld.com, small-hydro.com, World Bank Reports and International Energy Agency (IEA), World Small Hydropower Development, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Industrial Center on Small Hydropower Plants (ICSHP), Ministry of Water Resources (MWR), China and regulatory databases such as ICIS, Hoover’s, oneSOURCE, Factiva and Bloomberg, national government documents, statistical databases, market reports, news articles, press releases and webcasts specific to companies operating in the small hydropower market.
Africa Small Hydropower Market: Competitive Analysis
We conduct primary interviews on an ongoing basis with industry participants and commentators to validate data and analysis. These help validate and strengthen secondary research findings. These also help develop the analysis team’s expertise and market understanding.