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US Department of Energy releases new 'Hydropower Report'

Comprehensive study outlines the diversity of America's hydropower fleet, while demonstrating its contribution to the US clean energy mix.

Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson announced the release of the 2014 Hydropower Market Report at the National Hydropower Association Annual Conference earlier today. According to the Department of Energy, the report is the the first to quantify the current size, scope and variability of America's hydropower supplies.

“This report outlines the diversity of our nation’s hydropower fleet, shows its tremendous contribution to the U.S. clean energy mix, and points to promising future growth,” Danielson said. “With an expanding industry and continued investment, hydropower remains one of our nation’s most cost-effective and reliable sources of renewable energy1 and provides an important tool for boosting our clean energy supply.”

The 2014 Hydropower Market Report highlights the critical investment of more than $6 billion throughout the last decade to strengthen the existing hydropower fleet and the economic benefits that have resulted from support of the industry. The report also highlights how hydropower can be rapidly integrated with other renewable energy sources into the electric grid – contributing to the Administration’s goal of doubling our nation’s renewable energy supply again by 2020.
Presenting a unique analysis of the current project development pipeline in the hydropower sector, this report shows that America has more than 77 GW of untapped hydropower resource potential, and will continue to innovate to help unleash that potential. By making use of existing water resources and infrastructure, the vast majority of new hydropower projects built over the last decade have added electric generating equipment to dams that were previously not powered. The current hydropower development pipeline contains a diverse mixture of projects proposed at non-powered dams, conduits, and previously undeveloped rivers and streams.
The 2014 Hydropower Market Report is available online.
  1. Hydropower currently provides approximately seven percent of the US electricity supply – enough to power more than 20 million homes, and has experienced significant growth industry-wide. Within the last decade, the industry has supported more than 55,000 direct domestic jobs across the country and helped offset 200 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year--equivalent to the emissions from more than 42 million passenger vehicles. Today, the hydropower manufacturing supply chain spreads across 38 states, with more than 170 companies producing one or more of six major hydropower components: turbines, generators, transformers, penstocks, gates, and valves.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Other marine energy and hydropower  •  Policy, investment and markets