ISLAMABAD  -   Pakistan has been ranked 3rd in the world for newly installed hydropower capacity, much ahead of the US and India.

Out of the top 20 countries which installed new hydro capacity during 2018, Pakistan, with the new installed capacity of 2487MW, has been ranked 3rd, just behind China and Brazil which are ranked 1st and 2nd respectively in the list, declared by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) in its recently issued report titled 2019: Hydropower Status Report – Sector Trends and Insights.

Formed under the auspices of UNESCO in 1995 as a forum to promote and disseminate good practice about hydropower, IHA champions continuous improvement and sustainable practices across the sector.

India with 535 MW new installed capacity is ranked 8th while US with 141MW is ranked 15th of the list. Listing down top 20 countries by newly installed capacity, the IHA states in its report that Pakistan managed to add 2487MW of environment-friendly hydel electricity in 2018 following China and Brazil at the first and second rung that added 8540MW and 3866 MW to their systems respectively. Turkey with an addition of 1085 MW and Angola with an addition of 668 MW remained at 4th and 5th positions respectively as far as newly installed hydro capacity is concerned. The neighbouring India stood at the 8th position that could succeeded in adding 535 MW hydel electricity to its system recently.

It is pertinent to mention here that all the new hydro projects were initiated and completed during the tenure of previous government of PML(N). As per the IHA report, electricity generation from hydropower projects achieved a record 4,200 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2018, the highest ever contribution from a renewable energy source, as worldwide installed hydropower capacity climbed to 1,292 GW, according to the report .China added the most capacity with the installation of 8,540 megawatts (MW), followed by Brazil (3,866 MW), Pakistan (2,487 MW), Turkey (1,085 MW), Angola (668 MW), Tajikistan (605 MW), Ecuador (556 MW), India (535 MW), Norway (419 MW) and Canada (401 MW).Brazil has now overtaken the United States as the second largest producer of hydroelectricity by installed capacity, after 3,055 MW was put into operation last year at the 11,000 MW Belo Monte complex in the country’s northeast.

During the year 2018, Pakistan has successfully completed and commissioned three long-delayed mega hydropower projects with cumulative generation capacity of 2487 MW. The new projects include the commissioning of the 108 MW-Golen Gol hydropower project, 1410 MW-Tarbela 4th Extension and the 969 MW-Neelum Jhelum hydropower projects.

The total installed generation capacity of hydroelectric power in Pakistan surged to 9389 MW from 6902 MW, registering an increase of 36 percent in just one year. It is also worth to mention here that from 1958 to 2017 in 59 years of its inception WAPDA could manage to take its hydel generation to 6902 MW.

According the official estimates Pakistan has an indentified potential of generating 60000 MW of low-cost hydel electricity.