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Title: Water Power for a Clean Energy Future (Fact Sheet)

This fact sheet provides an overview of the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind and Water Power Program's water power research activities. Water power is the nation's largest source of clean, domestic, renewable energy. Harnessing energy from rivers, manmade waterways, and oceans to generate electricity for the nation's homes and businesses can help secure America's energy future. Water power technologies fall into two broad categories: conventional hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic technologies. Conventional hydropower facilities include run-of-the-river, storage, and pumped storage. Most conventional hydropower plants use a diversion structure, such as a dam, to capture water's potential energy via a turbine for electricity generation. Marine and hydrokinetic technologies obtain energy from waves, tides, ocean currents, free-flowing rivers, streams and ocean thermal gradients to generate electricity. The United States has abundant water power resources, enough to meet a large portion of the nation's electricity demand. Conventional hydropower generated 257 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity in 2010 and provides 6-7% of all electricity in the United States. According to preliminary estimates from the Electric Power Resource Institute (EPRI), the United States has additional water power resource potential of more than 85,000 megawatts (MW). This resource potential includes making efficiency upgrades to existing hydroelectricmore » facilities, developing new low-impact facilities, and using abundant marine and hydrokinetic energy resources. EPRI research suggests that ocean wave and in-stream tidal energy production potential is equal to about 10% of present U.S. electricity consumption (about 400 terrawatt-hours per year). The greatest of these resources is wave energy, with the most potential in Hawaii, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest. The Department of Energy's (DOE's) Water Power Program works with industry, universities, other federal agencies, and DOE's national laboratories to promote the development and deployment of technologies capable of generating environmentally sustainable and cost-effective electricity from the nation's water resources.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1037502
Report Number(s):
DOE/GO-102012-3545
TRN: US201207%%428
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Wind And Water Power Program (WWPP)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Wind and Water Power Program
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; EFFICIENCY; ELECTRIC POWER; ELECTRICITY; EPRI; POTENTIAL ENERGY; PRODUCTION; PUMPED STORAGE; RESOURCE POTENTIAL; RIVERS; STORAGE; TEMPERATURE GRADIENTS; TURBINES; WATER CURRENTS; WATER RESOURCES; WATER PROGRAM; WATER; WWPP; EERE