Notes on the Distribution of Hydel-Power through out the World

North America

i. The United States of America and Canada are the largest producers of hydro electricity in the world.

ii. Conditions favourable for hydel power generation: Conditions for Hydel power generation:

How Hydroelectric Power Works

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(a) Abundant natural hydel power sight Example: Fall line of Appalachian, along the Great Lakes- St. Lawrence waterway, Niagara Falls and St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Rocky Mountains and the Laurentian shield are important.

(b) Advanced technology in hydrological engineering.

(c) Scarcity of coal and oil fields in the Pacific region and the Rocky Mountain States. Moret fifths of the USA’s hydro-electric power now comes from these states in which are located well-known dams. Examples: The Grand Coulee Dam and the Bouneviile along the Coin River, The Hoover Dam project on the Colorado River.

(d) Some gigantic multipurpose river valley projects backed by the government to harness their of the river for more useful purposes. Examples: Tennessee Valley Scheme (TNA) Lawrence seaway.


(e) Large demand for H.E.P. especially by the industries such as pulp and paper, aluminium si chemical and metallurgical. On the west coast of Canada, the Kitimat scheme on the J Nechako is an important station to supply electricity to the neighbouring states.


i. Majority of the European countries has considerable reserves of coal, so hydropower developmeili secondary importance in many countries.

ii. The bulk of the European output of hydro electricity comes from only six countries namely: France, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland – Lack of fossil fuels in most of these coi have greatly favoured the development of hydro power.


iii. Norway leads the world in per capita output of waterpower since nearly 99% of her requirements are met by hydropower installations.

iv. Trollhattan falls on the River Gota in Sweden is the most important for hydel power.

v. Major Hydel power stations for Germany are located at Grevenbroich (outside Dusseldorf), Inm (mainly for aluminium smelting) and Bitterfield in East Germany.


The Caucasus accounts for more than half of total hydro-power resources of the European part of com

Several important plants have been built in recent years and 80 per cent potential HEP lies in Asiatic


i. Dnieper Combine Scheme comprising a series of dams is one of the most outstanding schei Russia and the other two huge dams.

ii. Volgograd and Kuybyshell on the River Volga are also important.

iii. Other large hydro power plants are Irkutsk, Bratsk, (World’s largest single HEP Plant) Krasnoyarsk in Siberia; and Beloyarsk on the shores of Caspian Sea.


i. Only Asian country which has developed hydel-power.

ii. The factors that have led to high development of hydel-power include well distributed abui precipitation, mountainous topography, lack of coal, and the need for industrial power.

iii. Most of the large power sites are located on the eastern and southern slopes of the mountains of Honshu.


About 70 per cent of potential resources is located at south – western China and cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhow (canson) are most important.

South East Asia

i. This region has huge potential but little is developed.

ii. Abut Bakar Dam of the Cameroon Highlands in Peninsular Malaysia is important for hydel-power.

Countries in the Southern Continents South America

Brazil is the leading hydel power producer in South America. Paulo-Alfonso plant on the Sao- Francisco River is famous far hydro-electric generation.


i. South-eastern Australia is the main region for the largest H.E.P. project.

ii. Snowy River Scheme provides water to those areas where rainfall is both low and unreliable. Other dams are Tuly Falls in northern Queensland, and Shannon in Tasmania is also important.


i. Despite the fact that Africa possesses the greatest potential hydro-power generating capacity, the ‘continent’s hydropower is least.

ii. Although a number of gigantic power projects have been installed. These are

Aswan Dam – Egypt; Akosombo Dam – Ghana; Sennar Dam – Sudan; Kariba Dam – Zambia; Owen Falls- Uganda; Volia Dam – Ghana; Kainji Dam – Nigeria; Kafue River – Zambia; Cabora Bassa – Zambezi River Mozambique.

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