The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced on Friday that it has launched a program to advance hydroelectricity as a clean energy alternative.
The $28 million program would support research and development projects that will advance hydroelectricity as a clean energy source. Funded by the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the program will offer three funding opportunities in the fall that will support research, development and deployment of hydropower, including pumped-storage hydropower.
“For more than a century, hydropower has provided clean, cheap, and reliable power to American homes and businesses,” said US Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. “Funding President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act will ensure that hydroelectricity continues to play as important a role in our clean energy future as it has in our past.”
Funding opportunities will support the testing of innovative technologies, development approaches, or construction techniques that will reduce the time, cost, or risk associated with hydropower and pumped-storage hydropower, the DOE said. . Additionally, the funding will support projects that conduct studies to develop and further deploy licensed pumped storage hydropower projects and those that seek stakeholder ideas to inform hydropower research.
Currently, hydroelectricity accounts for 31.5% of renewable electricity generation in the United States and just over 6% of total electricity generation in the United States, while pumped-storage hydroelectricity accounts for 93% of the country’s large-scale energy storage. Research by the DOE found that US hydroelectricity could increase nearly 50% by 2050.
The DOE said the proposed funding opportunities would encourage the sustainable growth of hydropower and pumped storage hydropower, expand pumped storage hydropower, and support stakeholder efforts to understand community-level issues affecting water. hydroelectricity.