Hydropower is the United States’ oldest source of renewable electricity, comprising nearly 7% of U.S. generation. In 2018, hydropower accounted for roughly 40% of U.S. renewable electricity generation, while pumped storage hydropower remains the largest contributor to U.S. energy storage with an installed capacity of 21.6 GW, or roughly 95% of all commercial storage capacity in the United States.
To achieve the mission and realize the vision of the Hydropower Program, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has identified five core R&D activity areas:
Innovations for Low-Impact Hydropower Growth
Grid Reliability, Resilience, Integration, & Storage (HydroWIRES)
Fleet Modernization, Maintenance, & Cybersecurity
Environmental & Hydrologic Systems Science
Data Access & Analytics.
Through the revised hydropower strategy, WPTO aims to clearly communicate the rationale for and organization of possible DOE-supported hydropower R&D from now to 2030.