Crunching the Hydro Numbers 2010: Fourth Quarter CDM Update

Back to Resources
First published on

Due to the exuberant craziness that was Rivers for Life 3 , we skipped the Third Quarter CDM update and went straight to the Fourth Quarter. To read about which projects have been “naughty or nice” (well, mostly naughty and all worthy of a large lump of coal this holiday season), see our CDM Comments page.


  • The number of hydro projects that entered the CDM pipeline dropped significantly after the second quarter (See Figs. 1 and 2).
  • The percent of registered projects that were involved in the review process (which includes projects that require corrections) has been growing over the years (see Fig. 4): 9.5% in 2005, 9.1% in 2006, 19.3% in 2007, 56.9% in 2008, 70.5% in 2009, 40.6% in 2010 (as of Dec 1, 2010).
  • 55% of all hydro projects in the CDM pipeline have requested registration since 2004, while 47% of all hydro projects have actually been registered. Figs. 3 and 4 show the fate of projects requesting registration and being registered by year.
  • Hydro projects continue to be the most prevalent type of project in the CDM pipeline (26% of all projects). 62% of credits expected from hydro projects come from China.
  • Credits expected to be generated by large hydro (≥15 MW) by 2012 represent 16% of all credits expected to be generated by 2012. Reduction of refrigerant gases like HFCs still represent the largest project type (about a quarter). Fortunately, scrutiny of HFCs has increased thanks to the work of environmental groups like CDM Watch.

Click on the following graphs to see a larger version:

“>CDM spreadsheet page. Data is based on the UNEP Risoe spreadsheet (Dec 1, 2010) unless otherwise stated. Feel free to contact me about any of these calculations.   

  • To learn more about submitting comments on CDM project, including what issues to address in your comments, visit our CDM Public Comments page.
  • For access to the latest spreadsheet and how you can sign up for weekly updates, go to our Hydro Spreadsheet page.