Water Power Reports to Congress

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The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) released several reports to Congress focusing on potential environmental effects and impacts and water technologies.

Marine and Hydrokinetic Report to Congress

This report provides an overview of Marine Hydrokinetic (MHK) Program funding from FY 2008 – FY 2017 and describes the strategy and rationale that the WPTO applies in supporting foundational science and early-stage research and development (R&D) for MHK energy technologies. It provides summary information on the past allocation of funds, including demonstrating diversity in possible public and private partnerships, and diversity in regional locations. The report was prepared in response to a request in House Appropriations Committee report language accompanying the 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act passed by Congress and signed by the President on May 5, 2017.

In the FY2017 House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Report 114-532 requested a report “on the past allocation of funds, including demonstrating diversity in possible public and private partnerships, and diversity in regional locations for siting these new methods and technologies." 

Download the report.

Boat in the water next to a hydrokinetic system.

Potential Environmental Effects of Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Technologies

Photo of hydrokinetic system.

This report focuses on potential impacts of marine and hydrokinetic technologies to aquatic environments (i.e. rivers, estuaries, and oceans), fish and fish habitats, ecological relationships, and other marine and freshwater aquatic resources.

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) called for a report to be provided to Congress that would address (1) the potential environmental impacts of marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies, (2) options to prevent adverse environmental impacts, (3) the potential role of monitoring and adaptive management, and (4) the necessary components of an adaptive management program.

Download the report

Federal Hydropower and Climate Change

Hydropower has long been the nation’s largest source of renewable electricity and a key contributor to the reliability of the U.S power grid. In coordination with DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Water Power Technologies Office oversaw the development and release of two reports to Congress, examining the potential effects of climate change on water available for hydropower at federal facilities.

The SECURE Water Act of 2009 called for a report to be provided to Congress that would “assess each effect of, and risk resulting from, global climate change with respect to water supplies that are required for the generation of hydroelectric power at each Federal water project that is applicable to a Federal Power Marketing Administration.

Pumped Storage and Potential Hydropower from Conduits

This report addresses the technical flexibility that existing pumped storage facilities can provide to support intermittent renewable energy generation. This study considered potential upgrades or retrofit of these facilities, the technical potential of existing and new pumped storage facilities to provide grid reliability benefits, and the range of conduit hydropower opportunities available in the United States.

Hydropower Regularoty Efficiency Act of 2013 called for a report to be provided to Congress on the results of “a study on pumped storage hydropower (PSH) and potential hydropower from conduits, including recommendations."

Download the report.