falls on high ground, they exhibit so-called potential
energy: On their way down through the valleys to
the sea, the water can
do work. - Therefore, mountainous countries with
sufficient rainfall are particularly suitable for
making use of hydropower.
The maps show the theoretical energy potential in
relation to the country area, in MWh/km²a. The countries
having the highest relative
potential are: Bhutan, Nepal, Tajikistan and Switzerland.
Worldwide, the theoretical energy potential is above
40,000 TWh per year, corresponding to a mean power
of at least 4.6 TW.
(For comparison: 9 billion people, each requiring
2,000 watts, would have a total power requirement
of 18 TW, equivalent to an annual energy demand
of 160,000 TWh.)
The values are based on the Survey of Energy Resources
2004, published by the World Energy Council WEC.
They have been used with permission of the editor