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Hydropower Technology Basics

August 14, 2013 - 3:03pm


Photo of the reservoir in front of a hydropower dam.

Hydropower, or hydroelectric power, is the most common and least expensive source of renewable electricity in the United States today. According to the Energy Information Administration, more than 6% of the country's electricity was produced from hydropower resources in 2014, and about 48% of all renewable electricity generated in the United States came from hydropower resources.

Hydropower technologies have a long history of use because of their many benefits, including high availability and lack of emissions.

Hydropower technologies use flowing water to create energy that can be captured and turned into electricity. Both large- and small-scale power producers can use hydropower technologies to produce clean electricity.

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Or learn more about hydropower basics and EERE's hydropower research from the EERE Wind and Water Power Technologies Office.