December 13, 2010 14:29 ET

Under-Loved and Under-Funded, Hydropower Energy Finds New Life in Tanzania

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 13, 2010) - The planned US $2 billion, 2,100-MW Stiegler's Gorge hydropower station in Tanzania is starting to take shape. The project's timetable has scheduled the first of three 700-MW turbines to be installed in 2012, Reuters reports, with full project completion projected for 2015.

Brazil has become a world leader in large hydropower plant construction, according to market research firm SBI Energy. Currently, about 80% of Brazil's power is supplied by hydroelectric plants. With electric demand growing at 4.4 percent per year, the country will need to build about $40 billion of power plants by 2015.

The study from SBI Energy, Hydropower Energy Technologies Worldwide: Large, Small, Mini, Micro and Pico, projects hydropower growth will be influenced heavily by government stimulus funds and other incentives. Although hydropower has not received the attention and funding that is being afforded to wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources, it has received more funding since 2008 than it has in preceding years. The Brazilian government is currently considering funding options for the Tanzania project, including concessional loans, private investment or state financing, media sources indicate.

On August 13, 2009 Omega Energia Renovável and Hidrotérmica, both Brazilian energy companies, signed a letter of intent with the government of Minas Gerais to build 13 small hydropower plants in the state (Minas Gerais is the third largest state in Brazil and the second most populous). These plants will cost about $524 million and are expected to become operational by 2013.

"Hydropower is an under-loved energy source that is being rediscovered by some countries, such as the United States, and is rapidly being developed in others, such as China and Brazil. This renewable energy source will experience major growth over the next five years," comments Shelley Carr, publisher of SBI Energy. "Brazil alone will see significant growth from the small hydropower sector, growing from 3.8 GW currently to 11.5 GW in 2012."

Hydropower Energy Technologies Worldwide: Large, Small, Mini, Micro and Pico provides a comprehensive assessment of the current hydropower market, the environmental concerns that have limited its growth in developed countries, the potential opportunities for new development, and the emerging technologies that harness the power of the ocean. Market sizes and trends are projected through 2013. For further information, visit:

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