GVR Report cover Small Hydropower Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Small Hydropower Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Capacity (Up To 1 MW, 1 - 10 MW), By Type (Micro Hydropower, Mini Hydropower), By Application, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Published Date: Jul, 2020
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2019
  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-891-6
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2018
  • Number of Pages: 130

Report Overview

The global small hydropower market size was valued at USD 2.98 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.0% from 2020 to 2027. Market growth can be accredited to factors such as financial investments, rural electrification, and policy initiatives in small hydropower projects in response to climate change. Small hydropower (SHP) generation is a method to generate electricity that uses moving water to produce electricity. These plants are mainly installed in the existing water supply network or small streams, and rivers. Small hydropower plants can be installed with a negligible ecological impact on the environment. Fossil fuel-based power generation is the most prevalent form of power generation across the world. However, the depletion of fossil fuel reserves has encouraged the industry to shift towards a renewable energy source.

U.S. small hydropower market size

Increasing energy demand on account of the rising population across the world, coupled with the need to decrease dependence on the conventional source of power generation, has been motivating the industry to use renewable power sources, such as small hydropower energy. Hence, it is an appropriate option to produce supportable as well as an inexpensive source of energy in emerging and rural areas owing to its versatility, low investment costs, and renewable nature.

An increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to growing power consumption has compelled the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to adopt certain renewable energy measures. The U.S. dominated the small hydropower market size and is expected to witness significant growth from 2020 to 2027. Policies by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in order to encourage renewable sources of energy, coupled with the need to deliver energy in rural locations, are some of the capable factors to foster market growth.

Small hydropower plants are constructed and designed to aid remote locations that generate less energy. Hence, these kinds of plants can either be grid-connected and off-grid; off-grid is primarily fit where grid connectivity is not present. Various energy policies executed by governments related to capital cost on total electricity generated, communities resettling, maintaining safety, and human resources used to build and operate the power plants. Small hydropower plants are designed to decrease high capital costs and to curtail environmental impact on the public. Moreover, the abandoned hydropower site operation is another profitable factor that will influence market growth.

Generally, the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) ranges between USD 0.02 and USD 0.10/kWh for a number of small hydropower projects in emerging countries, which makes small hydropower projects a very cost viable option to supply electricity to the off-grid or grid rural electrification schemes. Micro hydropower projects can have higher costs than mini-hydropower projects and can have a levelized cost of electricity of USD 0.27/kWh.

Capacity Insights

Based on the capacity, the segment is segregated as up to 1 MW and 1 to 10 MW. The up to 1 MW segment dominated the global market with a share of 57.6% in 2019. The up to 1 MW segment is projected to be the most abundant small hydropower during the projected period. This can be ascribed to the small-scale decentralized projects being installed in emerging nations, especially in APAC, for its rural electrification.

Asia Pacific dominated the up to 1 MW segment of the market. China, India, and Australia accounted for a noteworthy share of the small hydropower project installations across the region. Hence, the demand for small hydropower is driven by growing investments in rural electrification in these economies.

The 1 - 10 MW segment is expected to expand at the fastest CAGR of 2.7% from 2020 to 2027. This is attributed to the installation of small hydropower in various countries across the world.

Application Insights

The market, by application, is segmented into electromechanical equipment, power infrastructure, civil construction, and others, including structural, engineering, project development, environmental mitigation, and management. The civil construction segment held the largest share of 32.2% in 2019 and is expected to continue its lead during the forecast period.

Civil construction accounted for a substantial share of project costs across all small hydropower projects (SHPPs). Therefore, to correctly lead the water onto the turbines and to raise the water head level, civil constructions such as weirs (dams) are being built. Hence, these simple constructions are more economical than large hydropower plant projects.

The power infrastructure application segment is supposed to exhibit the fastest CAGR of 3.1% from 2020 to 2027. There is a growing need for modernization of small hydropower projects to boost electricity generation and extend the assets life to handle the growing demand for electricity.

Type Insights

Based on the type, the market is segregated as mini-hydropower and micro hydropower. Micro hydropower dominated the market and accounted for 57.6% share in 2019 and is expected to maintain its lead in the future. Micro hydropower projects range from 5 kW - 100 kW that can provide power for a rural industry or small community in remote areas away from the grid area.

Global small hydropower market share

The mini-hydropower segment is supposed to register the fastest CAGR of 2.6% from 2020 to 2027. Installations of the mini-hydropower segment are certainly driven by rural electrification. In the APAC region, China led the way in installing small hydropower projects for rural electrification. In various developed countries such as Norway and the U.S., the installation capacity is expected to upsurge the renewable energy share in the countries’ energy mix.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 33.0% share in 2019. China, India, and Australia are the world's fastest-growing economies, contributing primarily to the Asia Pacific market growth. The Asia Pacific market is expected to grow during the projected period owing to the investments in off-grid energy generation and rural electrification.

India is slightly developed in terms of small hydropower with a nearly 17-19% share of small hydropower potential. It is expected to observe substantial growth in SHP on account of some initiatives taken by the Indian government, such as the Small Hydropower Programme by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana. In India, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana is used to electrify rural areas and promote the utilization of small hydropower energy for off-grid and mini-grid type segments.

Europe is likely to observe significant growth as an outcome of promising government regulations. In November 2016, the Renewable Energy Directive of the European Union States was revised to reach the minimum target of 27% share of renewable energy consumption in the European Union by 2030. Moreover, according to this directive, the member state has to produce a 20% share of its energy using renewable sources of energy by 2020.

South Africa has five times more potent in small hydropower than its current installed capacity across the country. The small hydropower plant in Africa is either in hybrid combination with other renewable sources of energy or a standalone way. The large size of capability in the small hydropower sector is yet to be explored in South Africa, which will help the market to grow further in upcoming years.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The global industry is consolidated moderately.  Companies are taking up various strategic initiatives to strengthen their presence in the market. For instance, in September 2019, Voith opened its sales office and branch office in Nepal and Kathmandu. In June 2019, the company opened a new manufacturing facility in Balakovo, Russia. This manufacturing facility was built to manufacture and supply products for both small and large hydropower plants. In July 2019, GE Renewable Energy signed an agreement with Emrgy Inc. With this partnership, both the company partners will seek to develop the unexploited hydro-kinetic energy as potential across the world. Some of the prominent players in the small hydropower market include:

  • Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA




  • Siemens Gas and Power GmbH & Co. KG

  • BHEL

  • Gilkes Hydro

  • Natel Energy, Inc.

  • FLOVEL Energy Private Limited

  • SNC-Lavalin Group

  • HNAC Capacity Co., Ltd.

  • MavelAS

  • Kolektor

  • Canyon Industries, Inc.

Small Hydropower Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 3.04 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 3.49 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 2.0% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Capacity, type, application, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; U.K.; Germany; Spain; Italy; France; Russia; China; India; Japan; South Korea; Australia; Brazil; Paraguay; Colombia; UAE; South Africa; Saudi Arabia; Egypt

Key companies profiled

Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA; ANDRITZ; GENERAL ELECTRIC; TOSHIBA CORPORATION; Siemens Gas and Power GmbH & Co. KG; BHEL; Gilkes Hydro; Natel Energy, Inc.; FLOVEL Energy Private Limited; SNC-Lavalin Group; HNAC Capacity Co., Ltd.; Mavel AS.; Kolektor.; Canyon Industries, Inc.

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global small hydropower market report on the basis of capacity, type, application, and region:

  • Capacity Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Up to 1 MW

    • 1 to 10 MW

  • Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Mini Hydropower

    • Micro Hydropower

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Electromechanical equipment

    • Power Infrastructure

    • Civil Construction

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • The U.K.

      • France

      • Russia

      • Spain

      • Italy

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • South Korea

      • Australia

    • Central and South America

      • Brazil

      • Colombia

      • Paraguay

    • MEA

      • Saudi Arabia

      • UAE

      • South Africa

      • Egypt

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