In 2021 and 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) advanced hydropower and marine energy technologies to help realize water power’s full potential to contribute to a clean energy future.
WPTO 2021–2022 Accomplishments Report
Letter from the Acting Assistant Secretary for EERE
Letter from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Alejandro Moreno
Incredible work is underway across the U.S. Department of Energy to make progress toward the nation’s goals of a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035 and a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050. Throughout Fiscal Year 2022, our Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) and its partners at national laboratories, academic institutions, companies, and other organizations led efforts crucial to advancing the hydropower and marine energy technologies that have an important role in achieving these goals and our clean energy future. Read the Letter
Letter from the WPTO Director Jennifer Garson
I am pleased to share the 2021–2022 Accomplishments Report from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO). This report offers a glimpse into the important work happening across our Hydropower and Marine Energy programs with partners at national laboratories, academic institutions, companies, and other organizations. Read the Letter
Projects Across WPTO
Along with projects supported through WPTO's Hydropower and Marine Energy programs, the office led crucial cross-office initiatives and championed important efforts cross DOE.
Hydropower is one of the oldest and largest sources of renewable energy and uses the flow of moving water to generate clean electricity that powers homes, businesses, and industries. In 2021, hydropower accounted for 31.5% of U.S. renewable electricity generation, while pumped storage hydropower (PSH) remains the largest contributor to U.S. energy storage, representing roughly 93% of all commercial storage capacity in the United States.
WPTO's Hydropower Program conducts research, development, demonstration, and commercial activities to advance transformative, cost-effective, reliable, and environmentally sustainable hydropower and PSH technologies; better understand and capitalize on opportunities for these technologies to support the nation’s rapidly evolving grid; and improve energy-water infrastructure and security.
WPTO envisions a U.S. hydropower and pumped storage industry that modernizes and safely maintains existing assets; responsibly develops new low-impact hydropower; promotes environmental sustainability; and supports grid reliability, integration of other energy resources, and energy-water systems resilience. To achieve this vision, WPTO’s Hydropower Program supports R&D projects across five activity areas. Success stories in the WPTO 2021–2022 Accomplishments Report are presented within these activity areas:
Innovations for Low-Impact Hydropower Growth
Grid Reliability, Resilience, and Integration (HydroWIRES Initiative)
Fleet Modernization, Maintenance, and Cybersecurity
Environmental and Hydrologic Systems Science
Data Access, Analytics, and Workforce Development
Notable New Fiscal Year 2022 Hydropower Funding Opportunities
Marine Energy Program
Marine energy technologies transform the incredible amount of energy in the natural flow of oceans and rivers—like currents, tides, and waves—into clean electricity. The U.S. has tremendous marine energy resources. The total available marine energy resource in the United States is equivalent to approximately 57% of all U.S. power generation in 2019. Even if only a small portion of this technical resource potential is captured, marine energy technologies would make significant contributions to U.S. energy needs.
WPTO's Marine Energy Program conducts research, development, demonstration, and commercial activities that advance the development of reliable, cost-competitive marine energy technologies and reduce barriers to deployment.
The program’s vision is for a U.S. marine energy industry that expands and diversifies the nation’s energy portfolio by responsibly delivering power from ocean and river resources. To achieve this vision, WPTO’s Marine Energy Program supports R&D projects across four activity areas and one initiative. Success stories in the WPTO 2021–2022 Accomplishments Report are presented within these areas:
Technology-Specific System Design and Validation
Reducing Barriers to Testing
Data Access, Analytics, and Workforce Development
Powering the Blue Economy™
Notable New Fiscal Year 2022 Marine Energy Funding Opportunity
WPTO's Hydropower e-newsletter features news on R&D and applied science to advance sustainable hydropower and pumped-storage technologies.
WPTO's Marine Energy e-newsletter shares news and updates on tools, analysis, and emerging technologies to advance marine energy.
The WPTO e-newsletter brings funding opportunities, events, publications, hydropower, and marine energy updates directly to your inbox.