Department of Energy Announces Water-Related Selections, Resources, Partnership, and Competition Development in Support of World Water Day

Today, we celebrate World Water Day 2021, where nations across the globe are joining in conversations about the value of water. At the Department of Energy (DOE), we are discovering the endless possibilities water possesses. Water provides immense value to livelihoods, cultures, and economies across the globe. It is critical to human health and the health of our natural environment, and it is critical to energy. Energy and water systems are interdependent. Energy is required to extract, treat, and deliver water, and water is used in multiple phases of energy production and electricity generation.

"Water is a fundamental building block of our world and while it presents vast opportunities for economic growth, it is our responsibility to protect it," said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "We must understand the environmental and social impacts as well as benefits of water power technologies—such as hydropower or systems that convert the natural energy from waves, tides, or currents—and we must invest in the infrastructure and humans who will continue to drive technological progress at the nexus of energy and water."

On this day, DOE is proud to announce several ways we are supporting the continued sustainable use of our water-energy resources while identifying new ways to benefit of Americans.

  • The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) Provided $7M to 42 Hydropower Facilities Across the Country
    WPTO selected 42 recipients to receive a total of $7 million through the Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program’s latest round of funding under section 242 of Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT). The program provides funding for projects across the United States that add hydroelectric power generating capabilities to existing dams, leveraging existing infrastructure and the power of water to help meet America’s growing need for renewable electricity.
  • A New Guidebook Supports the Valuation of our Main Form of Energy Storage
    The WPTO-commissioned guidebook presents detailed step-by-step valuation guidance that pumped storage hydropower (PSH) developers, plant owners or operators, and other stakeholders can use to assess the value of existing or potential new PSH plants.
  • $7.1M in Funding Released to Enhance Marine Energy Infrastructure Across 5 National Laboratories
    WPTO announced a total of $7.1 million to 7 projects supporting marine energy testing infrastructure across 5 DOE national labs. With this investment, the national labs will be poised to support the development and demonstration of marine energy technologies designed at different scales and for different blue economy applications.
  • Four Marine Energy Students Selected to Partner with DOE National Labs, Industry, and a Tribe
    Through its Marine and Hydrokinetic Graduate Student Research Program, WPTO offered opportunities to four graduate students to conduct marine energy research outside of the classroom. The selected fellows for the program’s 2021 cycle will work with DOE national labs, wave energy developer CalWave, and the Makah Indian Tribe.
  • NREL Announces the Application Opening for the 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition
    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced it will begin accepting applications for the 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition (MECC) competition on April 5. Managed by NREL on behalf of WPTO, the competition encourages undergraduate and graduate students to unlock the power of the ocean, rivers, and tides to develop, design, and test the technologies that build resilient coastal communities and provide power at sea.

WPTO enables research, development, and testing of emerging technologies to advance marine energy as well as next generation hydropower and pumped storage systems for a flexible, reliable grid. Learn more about WPTO successes by reading the office’s 2019–2020 Accomplishments Report.