Hydroelectric past not indicative of future

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Over the past five years, the number of firms in the hydroelectric power plant construction industry is has fallen at an average annual rate of 5.8 percent. That number will drop even further in the coming five years, according to researchers IBISWorld.

A continued decline in demand, increased awareness of environmental impact, drought conditions, competition from other energy sources such as fossil fuels, wind and solar, have all hampered the success of hydroelectric power growth over the last five years.

However, IBISWorld is predicting that an increase in electricity demand and a continued shift away from fossil fuel-based and nuclear power will promote hydroelectric growth through 2017.

While the next five years is expected to see industry revenue increase due to demand, industry consolidation and high operating costs associated with environmental compliance are predicted to force the number of companies in the space down during the same timeframe.

Part of the increasing demand for hydroelectric power will come from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which already generates nearly 24 percent of industry revenue, operates 75 power plants, and produces 25 percent of the nation's hydroelectric power.

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