What does hydropower cost?
The actual cost of producing power will vary from power plant to power plant with one of the main variables being the size of the plant.
For example, since it could take as many people to operate and maintain a small one unit generator as it would to operate and maintain two larger generators, the cost of operation and maintenance per kilowatt produced would be higher for the smaller plant.
In general, the larger the hydroelectric plant, the cheaper the cost per kilowatt to produce the electricity.
When compared to other means of producing electricity, hydroelectric production costs run about one third those of either fossil-fueled (coal or oil) or nuclear power plants, and is less than one fourth the cost of gas turbine electricity production.
The main contributing factor for the difference in this cost of production is the fuel costs for the other means of producing electricity.
The original plant cost for a hydroelectric plant is somewhat cheaper than either fossil fuel or nuclear plants.
Gas turbine plants are the cheapest to build but the most expensive to operate.
A detailed report on electricity cost production, Projected Costs of Generating Electricity - 2005 Update (IEA, 2005) is available from the IEA Bookshop.