Clean and ReliablePower
Hydropower is a necessity to our clean energy future. Solar, wind and battery storage may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of clean energy resources, yet a simple truth is often overlooked: we can’t achieve decarbonization of our electricity system without hydropower.
How Hydropower WorksHow
A source, in this case flowing water is used to turn a propeller-like piece called a turbine, which then turns a metal shaft in an electric generator, which is the motor that produces electricity.
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Hydropower Statistics in America
- According to the Department of Energy, in 2019, hydropower capacity (80.25 GW) in 2,270 Hydropower Plants in the U.S. accounted for 6.7% of installed electricity generation capacity in the United States and its generation (274 TWh) represented 6.6% of all electricity generated and 38% of electricity from renewables produced in the U.S.
- Hydropower produces enough carbon-free electricity to power over 35 million homes in the United States.
- Hydropower employs up to 300,000 Americans a year. Looking forward, if policies like renewable electricity standards are implemented, within the three years 1.4. million cumulative jobs will be sustained by the industry.
- Without Hydropower, our clean energy future will take much longer to actualize. The flexibility of this energy source, its ability to integrate wind and solar onto the grid and thereby provide dispatchable generation to balance the minute-by-minute electricity generation variations caused by cloud cover, wind gusts, or fuel-supply disruptions from non-renewable resources, makes it an indispensable part of our planning for a better tomorrow.
- Hydropower is woven into the historical fabric of our country. It is one of the oldest sources of American energy, powering the grain and lumber mills that built the towns we inhabit today. The first industrial use of hydropower to generate electricity in the United States was in 1880 to power 16 brush-arc lamps at the Wolverine Chair Factory in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The first U.S. hydroelectric power plant to sell electricity opened on the Fox River near Appleton, Wisconsin, on September 30, 1882.