Energy Secretary. US could double hydropower with minimal changes

More efficient (and fish-friendly) turbines, increased pumped storage, better intakes and other refinements means much more power can be generated from existing hydro installations, all of it virtually carbon free.

Plus, we’re barely using what we have.

Hydropower accounts for 6 percent of the U.S.’s electricity consumption and nearly 75 percent of renewable power, according to the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy. But just 3 percent of the U.S.’s more than 82,000 hydroelectric projects generate electricity.

  • DJ

    This appears to be based on an Idaho National Labs study, which concluded that considering land use restrictions, the increase would be closer to 50%. Still, that’s a lot of power. If combined with serious conservation measures, it could triple hydro’s contribution to our energy needs.

    There’s just one problem: fossil fuels and wasted energy create jobs, and no politician in his (or her) right mind will vote to put that many folks out of work.

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