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Project Summary

The Hydropower Market Report (HMR) project informs the Water Power Technologies Office’s research and development planning and provides stakeholders with unbiased data and objective analysis on U.S hydropower and pumped storage assets, along with related recent trends of development. The HMR is intended to be a foundational reference publication on U.S. hydropower development, performance, and supply chain trends for industry and other stakeholders such as other federal partners and policymakers. 

Project Snapshot
Project TitleHydropower Market and Trends Report
AwardeeOak Ridge National Laboratory
Awardee HQ LocationTennessee
DOE Funding Amount$282,493
Program AreaCapacity and Efficiency Upgrades
Recipient TypeLaboratory
Award TypeAnnual Operating Plan
Year Awarded2014
Work LocationsColorado, Tennessee
Congressional District(s)CO-7, TN-3


What You Need To Know


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) aims to collect and disseminate data on new and existing hydropower assets, with the goal of informing industry decisions regarding hydropower investment and operations. The U.S. hydropower fleet covers 2,000 projects nationwide and has a capacity of 80 gigawatts. Modernizing the existing fleet can add an additional 6.3 gigawatts by 2050 and deliver lower-cost power and more flexibility for the nation’s power grid.

  • ORNL will develop data sets covering topics for which comprehensive information was previously unavailable (e.g., fleet ownership details, additional purposes of hydropower dams, and attributes and development status of all active U.S. hydropower). These datasets will help improve knowledge and awareness of U.S. hydropower trends.
  • The HMR will help informing business decisions regarding hydropower investment and operation and will, ideally, become a reference publication on U.S. hydropower development, performance, value, and supply chain.
  • The HMR project provided critical input for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydropower Vision.
  • Improve and update existing datasets to maximize their value in answering key questions (e.g., track effectiveness of initiatives aimed at accelerating new U.S. hydropower development).
  • Develop additional content for answering new questions in next HMR. Some potential questions include the following:
    • How do U.S. hydropower development trends compare to those in other world regions?
    • Who buys and sells hydropower assets and output and at what prices?
    • How much does it cost to construct and operate U.S. hydropower facilities?
  • Complete a full draft of the HMR for review in fiscal year 2018 and release in Q3 FY 2018.

Project Partners

Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center
Hydropower supply chain analysis
U.S. federal hydropower owners
Data on value of multipurpose hydropower projects
Oak Ridge Associated Universities
ORNL’s Post-Master’s Research Participation Program

About the Water Power Technologies Office

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office advances cutting-edge technology to modernize the U.S. hydropower fleet and drive U.S. leadership in wave and tidal energy, with the goal of delivering low-cost power and resiliency to America’s power grids.