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Title: Quadrennial Technology Review 2015: Technology Assessments--Hydropower

Hydropower has provided reliable and flexible base and peaking power generation in the United States for more than a century, contributing on average 10.5% of cumulative U.S. power sector net generation over the past six and one-half decades (1949–2013). It is the nation’s largest source of renewable electricity, with 79 GW of generating assets and 22 GW of pumped-storage assets in service, with hydropower providing half of all U.S. renewable power-sector generation (50% in 2014). In addition to this capacity, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has identified greater than 80 GW of new hydropower resource potential: at least 5 GW from rehabilitation and expansion of existing generating assets, up to 12 GW of potential at existing dams without power facilities, and over 60 GW of potential low-impact new development (LIND) in undeveloped stream reaches. However, despite this growth potential, hydropower capacity and production growth have stalled in recent years, with existing assets even experiencing decreases in capacity and production from lack of sustaining investments in infrastructure and increasing constraints on water use.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
EERE Publication and Product Library
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Water Power Program (EE-4W)
Country of Publication:
United States
Quadrennial Technology Review, Advancing Clean Electric Power Technologies, Technology Assessment, Hydropower, DOE