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Water 2017, 9(4), 287; doi:10.3390/w9040287

Hydropower Royalties: A Comparative Analysis of Major Producing Countries (China, Brazil, Canada and the United States)

1
HEC Montréal, Montreal, QC H3T 2A7, Canada
2
Faculty of Law, Université Laval, Ville de Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
3
Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC H3T 1J7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Julio Berbel
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Economics and Policy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [254 KB, uploaded 20 April 2017]

Abstract

Hydropower is the leading renewable source of electricity generation and a low emission energy source. In order to be developed sustainably, it is important that its costs and benefits are adequately set and distributed. Different mechanisms, such as royalties, can be used for this purpose. Governments have usually kept hydropower royalty rates low, without internalizing negative externalities. This strategy is inefficient because it leads to larger electricity production and consumption, and hence exacerbates environmental impacts. This paper reviews the criteria proposed and used to set hydropower royalties. It also compares practices of the four main hydropower producers in the world: China, Brazil, Canada and the United States. Results show that royalty rates and distribution policies are determined in an arbitrary and unsystematic manner, but also that water use is usually undervalued. In order to encourage the development of this key renewable resource, in a sustainable and responsible way, national and international efforts should be made to rationalize and harmonize hydropower royalty rates. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydropower; royalty; China; Brazil; Canada; United States hydropower; royalty; China; Brazil; Canada; United States
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pineau, P.-O.; Tranchecoste, L.; Vega-Cárdenas, Y. Hydropower Royalties: A Comparative Analysis of Major Producing Countries (China, Brazil, Canada and the United States). Water 2017, 9, 287.

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