The last few years have been huge for renewable energy, and the momentum isn’t slowing down. There are a lot of big renewable energy projects under construction, planned or proposed for 2018.
Below you’ll find a list of the biggest renewable energy projects in the works around the world in 2018. Since they tend to be the largest when measured in megawatts (MW), hydropower projects show up a lot on this list. They can only be placed in locations with exactly the right conditions, though, so there are plenty solar, wind, storage and geothermal on the way as well.
Without further ado, here are the ten largest renewable energy projects planned for 2018.
Grand Inga Hydroelectric Project — 40,000 MW – DR Congo
This proposed project, when completed, will be twice as large as the largest dam currently operating anywhere in the world. It’s located in the western part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, approximately 30 miles upstream of the mouth of the Congo River. It will cost about US$80 billion and provide electricity to people all across Africa and possible even in Europe.
Gansu Wind Farm Project —20,000 MW — China
The Gansu Wind Farm Project, also known asJiuquan Wind Power Base, will become the largest wind farm in the world in 2020 if everything goes according to plan. The project consists of 18 wind farms in China’s Gansu province and consists of three phases. The first phase has already been completed, and the project’s total is expected to equal 20,000 MW in 2020.
Baihetan Hydroelectric Project – 16,000 MW – China
The state-owned power company behind the world’s largest operating dam is also behind this huge 16,000 MW hydroelectric plant on the lower end of the Jinsha River in Southwestern China. Construction in Baihetan began in March of 2017 and is expected to continue into 2021. The project’s basin will cover an area of 166,024 square miles.
Belo Monte Hydroelectric Project– 11,233 MW – Brazil
The Belo Monte hydroelectric project is located on the Xingu River in Brazil. Construction began in 2011 and is projected to take until 2019. Plans for the project actually began all the way back in 1975 but were temporarily shelved due to opposition from the public that stemmed from its potential impact on nearby populations. Although the project eventually began to move forward, it still faces controversy.
Wudongde Hydroelectric Project— 10,200 MW — China
The Wudongde project is another large dam located on the lower reaches of China’s Jinsha River. In fact, this dam is part of a larger initiative involving four dams downstream of the Jinsha. Baihetan is another, and the other two facilities have already been completed. Preliminary work began in 2010 and began in earnest in 2015. It’s expected to come online by 2020.
Adani Renewable Energy Park— 10,000 MW — India
Solar energy is beginning to make up a considerable portion of the world’s energy generation, and Adani Renewable Energy Park is the first evidence of that on the list. Location in Rajasthan, India, the project consists of multiple smaller solar parks that together will generate a total of 10,000 MW. The first phase of the initiative includes a 1,500 MW facility in Fatehgarh, Jaisalmer, and a 500 MW solar park in Bhadla, Jodhpur.
TaSang Hydroelectric Project — 7,110 MW — Myanmar
The governments of Myanmar, China, and Thailand plan to build several dams on the Salween River in Myanmar, the largest of which would be TaSang. It’s expected to have a 7,110 MW capacity and be taller than the world’s largest dam. The groundbreaking ceremony occurred in 2007, but construction has stalled due to controversy and civil unrest. Only time will tell, but it still might eventually come to fruition.
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam — 6,450 MW — Ethiopia
Another hydroelectric project that’s mired in controversy, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is expected to generate about 6,450 MW of electricity. It’s located on the Blue Nile near the border of Ethiopia and Sudan. Although the project is already nearing completion, many in Egypt oppose it because they fear it will disrupt their water supply. Others insist the project will environmentally, economically, and socially beneficial.
Asian Renewable Energy Hub — 6,000 MW — Australia
This renewable energy project is unique because it will consist of a combination of wind and solar energy and, although it will be located in Western Australia, it will export its energy to Southeast Asia through underwater transmission cables. It will be sited on about 5,400 square miles and consist of 4,000 MW of wind and 2,000 MW of solar. Construction is expected to begin in 2023 and finish in 2029.
Dasu Dam — 4,3020 MW — Pakistan
The Dasu Dam is located on the Indus River near Dasu, Pakistan. The facility will be constructed in two phases, the first of which is expected to go online in 2021. When both phases are completed, Dasu will generate 4,3020 MW and take up about 15 square miles of land.
There you have it — the 10 biggest renewable energy projects that will be undergoing development or construction in 2018.
Along with a few wind and solar farms, a lot of hydroelectric projects made the list, but rest assured that there are plenty of small solar and wind facilities that generate large amounts of power when their capacities are combined. Another trend you may have noticed is that many of the largest projects are occurring in Asia, perhaps significantly a shift in the countries investing the most in renewable energy. Either way, 2018 is shaping up to be another momentous year for renewables.