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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Aug 16, 2013 8:12 PM Flag

    New Hydropower Laws Could Add 60 GW Of Clean Energy To US Grid

    New Hydropower Laws Could Add 60 GW Of Clean Energy To US Grid

    Published on August 16th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

    The one thing everyone working on energy issues in America can agree upon is non-existent energy policy action at the national level. But late last week President Obama signed two bipartisan bills that could create a major boost for US renewables generation from an unlikely source – small hydropower.

    It’s kind of amazing these bills becoming law hasn’t gotten much attention, since they’re the first real energy legislation to pass Congress since 2009, and could ultimately create 1.2 million green jobs while adding 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable electricity to the grid.

    These two bills, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act and Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act, will streamline the regulatory process required to add new hydropower generation to existing dams or upgrade existing hydro generation resources, [color=#00CC00][b]and could unlock the untapped potential of thousands of miles of waterways.[/b][/color]

    Hydropower’s Huge Potential

    Hydropower may seem to be the under-appreciated stepchild of American electricity generation, but it generates 7% of America’s total electricity, and represents a whopping 56% of all renewables – more than all other clean energy sources combined.

    Small hydropower facility image via Shutterstock

    Even though hydropower represents reliable baseload generation capacity that can balance out other renewables, it doesn’t create the same kind of excitement as solar or wind – perhaps because the potential for hydropower seems tapped out.

    But a 2012 report from the Department of Energy underscored why overlooking hydropower’s potential was a mistake. 80,000 dams are in service across the US, but only 3% have installed generators. [color=#00CC00][b]DOE’s report found America could create more than 12 GW of new generation capacity by installing turbines on 54,000 sites where they don’t currently e

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