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Hydropower's Vision for Growth

 

Pathways to Increase Hydropower Generation

Today, clean and renewable hydropower provides energy to over 30 million American homes. As impressive as that sounds, its growth potential is immense. New analysis from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydropower Vision Report found that hydropower can sustainably grow its current 101 gigawatts (GW) of capacity by nearly 50 GW by 2050.

 

 

How We get there

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6.3 GW

Upgrades at existing hydropower facilities

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4.8 GW

New development
on existing non-powered dams

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35.5 GW

New pumped storage projects, along with upgrades existing facilities

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1.7 GW

New stream-reach development

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Growing Hydropower Helps Fight Climate Change

Today, clean and renewable hydropower helps the nation avoid approximately 200 million metric tons of CO2 each year. Hydropower is helping us fight climate change, but there is significant potential to do more. New analysis from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydropower Vision Report found that by increasing hydropower’s capacity by 50 gigawatts by 2050, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.6 billion metric tons.

Growing Hydropower by 50 GW by 2050 Provides Significant Economic and Social Benefits

Growing hydropower by 50 GW by 2050 makes for A Healthier America

1,234,567

Fewer cases of lower respiratory symptoms (age 7–14)

323,000

Fewer cases of upper respiratory symptoms (asthmatics age 9–11)

8,203,000

Fewer minor restricted-activity days (age 18–65)

1,363,000

Fewer lost work days (age 18–65)

757,000

Fewer cases of asthma exacerbation (age 6–18)

4,965,000

Fewer cases of acute respiratory symptoms (ages 18–65)

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Growing Hydropower Enables Other Renewables

Today, Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) represents 97% of the nation’s energy storage. New analysis from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydropower Vision Report found that by increasing pumped storage’s capacity by 35.5 gigawatts by 2050, we can more than double the nation’s energy storage capacity, while increasing other renewables like wind and solar.
 

What is Pumped Storage Hydropower?

A Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) facility pumps water to an upper reservoir when demand and electricity prices are low and subsequently releases the water back to a lower reservoir through a turbine when demand is high and electricity is more expensive. Pumped Storage is a predictable, flexible and commercially proven technology for grid-scale energy storage and generation.

 
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Enabling Wind and Solar Energy

Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) enables greater integration of renewables (wind/solar) into the grid by utilizing excess generation, and being ready to produce power during low wind and solar generation periods. PSH also has the ability to quickly ramp electricity generation up in response to periods of peak demand.