The US has announced that it will be investing $9.8 billion in hydropower with the aim of developing fresh new technologies that will slash capital costs and reduce the lead times required to deploy non-powered water dams and pumped-storage hydroelectricity systems alike.
Plenty of Scope with the Right Investment
The country's Department of Energy believes that American hydropower installations could grow to almost 150GW of output from a current level of 101 GW by 2050, with a boost to storage capacity and electricity generation.
A New Report
It has produced a new report called 'Hydropower Vision' which lays out the various environmental and health benefits to adopting the cleaner energy source of hydropower and moving away from fossil fuels, noting that £157 billion could be saved by slashing the damaging effects of greenhouse gas emissions and losing $58 billion from associated economic damage and healthcare costs related to this environmental damage.
Furthermore, it notes that it would be possible to save 30 trillion gallons of water which could otherwise be diverted to the cooling facilities of power plants or the generation of steam.
The economy is also predicted to benefit by up to 195,000 new jobs created in the hydro sector, with knock-on economic benefits in supporting supply chains and complementary industries.
Ernest Moniz, the Energy Secretary, explained that hydropower had already been providing an affordable, clean and reliable source of energy in the USA for over a hundred years, with pumped storage in particular providing a valuable input into complementary technologies such as solar and wind. He added that the new report showed the US government's commitment to creating a bigger role for both pumped storage systems and hydropower in the future in a bid to support a sustainable and low-carbon economy.