A staggering 19% of the total global energy production is derived from hydropower, which refers to the process of generating electricity by using water. The five countries that account for more than half of the world’s hydropower production are Brazil, Canada, China, Russia and the US.
Experts acknowledge the striking correlation between hydropower development and a country’s economic development. Norway, one of Europe’s poorest countries a century ago, is today a highly industrialized, self-reliant and wealthy nation. Nearly 99% of Norway’s electricity supply comes from the electricity generated by its hydropower plants, which have a total capacity of 27,000 MW. The development of hydropower in Norway is believed to have propelled growth, economic development and overall expansion. The country’s current expansion efforts focus on moving from technical excellence in hydropower to capacity building.
On March 14, 2008, the Norwegian government proposed measures to gain public control of the country’s hydropower production plants and assets to ensure that hydropower concessions that are granted to other private companies will revert back to the state itself on expiry of the concessions. This will enable public ownership of hydropower assets in Norway in perpetuity.