Hydropower Vision: Executive Summary

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Through the Hydropower Vision, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office has led a first-of-its-kind comprehensive analysis to evaluate future pathways for low-carbon, renewable hydropower, focused on continued technical evolution, increased energy market value, and environmental sustainability.

The Hydropower Vision analysis finds that U.S. hydropower could grow from 101 gigawatts (GW) of capacity in 2015 to nearly 150 GW by 2050. Under this scenario, a combined $209 billion in savings from avoided global damages from greenhouse gas emissions is possible, including $185 billion in savings from continuing to operate the existing hydropower fleet through 2050. With this deployment level, more than 35 million average U.S. homes could be powered by hydropower in 2050.