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Hydropower offers significant potential for carbon emissions reductions. The installed capacity of hydropower by the end of 2008 contributed 16% of worldwide electricity supply, and hydropower remains the largest source of renewable energy in the electricity sector. On a global basis, the technical potential for hydropower is unlikely to constrain further deployment in the near to medium term. Hydropower is technically mature, is often economically competitive with current market energy prices and is already being deployed at a rapid pace. Situated at the crossroads of two major issues for development, water and energy, hydro reservoirs can often deliver services beyond electricity supply. The significant increase in hydropower capacity over the last 10 years is anticipated in many scenarios to continue in the near term (2020) and medium term (2030), with various environmental and social concerns representing perhaps the largest challenges to continued deployment if not carefully managed.
Hydropower is a renewable energy source where power is derived from the energy of water moving from higher to lower elevations. It is a proven, mature, predictable and typically price-competitive technology. Hydropower has among the best conversion efficiencies of all known energy sources (about 90% efficiency, water to wire). It requires relatively high initial investment, but has a long lifespan with very low operation and maintenance costs. The levelized cost of electricity for hydropower projects spans a wide range but, under good conditions, can be as low as 3 to 5 US cents2005 per kWh.
Annex III is intended to become a ‘living document’, which will be updated in the light of new information in order to serve as an input to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Scientists that are interested in supporting this process are invited to contact the IPCC WG III Technical Support Unit (TSU) (using firstname.lastname@example.org) in order to get further information concerning the submission process. Comments and new data input will be considered for inclusion in Volume 3 of the IPCC AR5 according to the procedures of the IPCC review system.
This Annex contains recent cost and performance parameter information for currently commercially available renewable power generation technologies (Table A.III.1), heating technologies (Table A.III.2) and bio-fuel production processes (Table A.III.3). It summarizes information that determines the levelized cost of energy or energy carriers supplied by the respective technologies.
The input ranges are based on assessments of various studies by authors of the respective technology chapters (Chapters 2 through 7). If not stated otherwise, the data ranges provided here are worldwide aggregates. Data are generally for 2008, but can be as recent as 2009. They represent roughly the mid-80% of values found in the literature, hence, excluding outliers. The availability and quality of different sources of data varies significantly across individual technologies for a variety of reasons. Some expert judgment is therefore required to determine data ranges that are representative of particular classes of technologies and specific periods of time and valid globally.
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