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Last week the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Norway’s Royal Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (OED) made a commitment to collaborate on hydropower research and development by signing an Annex to a previously signed memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Conner Prochaska, Chief Commercialization Officer and Director of the Office of Technology Transitions for the Department of Energy, signed the Annex in Trondheim, Norway on February 4. Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, Norway’s State Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, signed on behalf of Norway. Following the signing ceremony, researchers and industry experts from Norway, the United States, and others met for the Hydropower Summit 2020 workshop, which focused on hydropower optimization, technology challenges, and environmental conditions.

This MOU Annex brings together the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office and the Norwegian Research Centre for Hydropower Technology (HydroCen) to plan and coordinate hydropower R&D activities; develop, share, and implement results; increase understanding of hydropower’s role in the future energy mix; and provide input to international discussions regarding hydropower.

Hydropower faces similar challenges and opportunities in the United States and Norway, and both countries are committed to enabling hydropower to support their respective electricity systems. Collaborative R&D under this Annex may include:

  • Markets and Value;
  • Hydropower plant Capabilities and Constraints;
  • Monitoring and Control Technologies;
  • Environmental Design Solutions;
  • Environmental Impacts and Tradeoffs;
  • Flexible Operations and Planning; and
  • Technology Innovation

This annex builds on an existing MOU between DOE and OED that was signed in 2004, facilitating collaborative research on fossil energy; carbon sequestration; hydrogen and clean fuels; energy efficiency; renewable energy; and new energy technologies. Much of the work done under the MOU since 2004 has been through DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy on carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy supports research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to strengthen U.S. economic growth, energy security, and environmental quality. For more information on water power research, development, testing, and deployment see EERE’s Water Power Technologies Office website.