Severe droughts are drying up rivers and reservoirs vital for the production of zero-emissions hydropower in several countries around the globe, in some cases leading governments to rely more heavily on fossil fuels.
The emerging problems with hydropower production in places like the United States, China and Brazil represent what scientists and energy experts say is going to be a long-term issue for the industry as climate change triggers more erratic weather and makes water access less reliable.
They also could pose a threat to international ambitions to fight global warming by hindering one of the leading forms of existing clean power. Hydropower is the world’s top source of clean energy and makes up close to 16% of world electricity generation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Sharon Bernstein and Jake Spring, David Stanway