Hydrokinetic Energy: Untapped Potential for Power Generation in Developing Nations

In this article, we will explore the advantages of hydrokinetic energy and its applicability in developing nations.

The Power of Moving Water

Hydrokinetic energy harnesses the power of moving water to generate electricity. This renewable energy source utilizes the kinetic energy produced by the physical movement of rivers, tides, and ocean currents. By converting this energy into usable electricity, hydrokinetic systems offer a sustainable and eco-friendly solution for power generation.

Key Advantages of Hydrokinetic Energy

  • Renewable and Clean: Unlike fossil fuels, hydrokinetic energy is a renewable source that does not produce harmful emissions or contribute to climate change.
  • Abundant Resource: Water bodies cover approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface, providing an abundant and readily available energy source for developing nations.
  • Constant Energy Generation: Unlike solar or wind power, hydrokinetic energy generation is not dependent on weather conditions, ensuring a consistent power supply throughout the year.
  • Low Environmental Impact: Hydrokinetic systems have minimal impact on aquatic ecosystems, allowing for sustainable power generation without disrupting local biodiversity.

Applicability in Developing Nations

Developing nations face numerous energy challenges, including limited access to electricity, unreliable power grids, and environmental concerns. Hydrokinetic energy presents a viable solution to address these issues and unlock new opportunities for growth. Let’s explore some key aspects:

Energy Accessibility

Hydrokinetic projects can provide electricity to remote areas that lack access to traditional power grids. These communities can benefit from a reliable and sustainable energy source, improving their quality of life and supporting economic development.

According to the World Bank, almost one in four people in developing nations still lack access to electricity.

Diversification of Energy Mix

Hydrokinetic energy can help diversify the energy mix of developing nations. By reducing their reliance on traditional fossil fuels, countries can enhance their energy security, reduce carbon emissions, and mitigate the impact of volatile fuel prices.

As per the Global Wind Energy Council, developing nations accounted for more than half of the world’s new renewable energy installations in 2020.

Economic Growth

The development of hydrokinetic energy infrastructure creates new job opportunities and stimulates local economies. It encourages domestic research, manufacturing, and technological advancements, promoting sustainable economic growth in developing nations.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the renewable energy sector employed 15 million people worldwide in 2019, with the potential for further growth.


Hydrokinetic energy possesses immense potential for power generation in developing nations. Its renewable nature, minimal environmental impact, and ability to provide electricity to remote areas make it a compelling choice. By embracing hydrokinetic energy, countries can diversify their energy mix, enhance energy accessibility, and drive sustainable economic growth. It is crucial for governments, stakeholders, and international organizations to support the development of this untapped resource and unlock the benefits it offers.

For more information on hydrokinetic energy, you can visit the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office.

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