US has ‘65GW of untapped hydropower potential’

More than 65GW of new hydroelectric power capacity could be developed in the US across three million river and streams, a new report claims. That’s nearly equivalent to the current […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

More than 65GW of new hydroelectric power capacity could be developed in the US across three million river and streams, a new report claims.

That’s nearly equivalent to the current US hydropower capacity, the US Department of Energy said.

It makes up 7% of all of American electrical generation and continues to be its largest source of renewable energy, reducing more than 200 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said: “The United States has tremendous untapped clean energy resources and responsible development will help pave the way to a cleaner, more sustainable and diverse energy portfolio.”

Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington led the country with the greatest hydropower potential while Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wyoming led in “new stream-reach” hydropower potential.

The report builds on a previous assessment that uncovered more than 12GW of hydropower potential at more than 80,000 existing non-powered dams.