Hydropower Uncertainty

As investments in wind and solar power climb, backing major hydropower projects may be seen as a risky bet in a warming world. Studies indicate that climate change could make rain and snowfall less certain in some regions. An indicator of where renewables investors are focusing their attention, large hydropower was left out of a recent and major United Nations and Bloomberg report showing that global investments in renewables spiked 17 percent in 2014.

Last year, as costs for wind and solar projects fell and investors saw their potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, investments in wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and small hydropower projects totaled about $270 billion in 2014, up from $231 billion in 2013. Those numbers exclude investments in major hydropower projects that can generate more than 50 megawatts of electricity.