Hydropower is the most popular source of renewable energy in the world, and the overall main energy source in Latin America which boasted a capacity of 153GW in 2010, providing about 65% of all electricity generated; way above the world average of 16%.
The popularity of hydropower projects in South America has grown due to rising electricity prices from other energy sources, government incentives for renewable energy projects, and large amounts of private investment.
John Targett, the vice president and executive projects director for Latin America at MWH Global, said that “the potential for hydropower growth in Latin America is significant, and current generation is impressive. As the cost of energy increases, there is a resurgence of hydro after development of some of the larger scale projects that were commissioned in the 1960s, 70s and 80s trailed off.”
According to the International Hydropower Association, (IHA) the largest hydroelectric markets include Brazil, Chile, and Columbia.