The 2016 DOE Hydropower Vision report includes a roadmap of detailed actions to advance sustainable hydropower in the United States, allowing it to grow from a current capacity of about 100 GW to nearly 150 GW by 2050. Adding 13 GW of new hydropower and 36 GW of new pumped storage hydropower to the existing capacity could save $209 billion in global damages from greenhouse gas emissions.
With support from its national laboratories, DOE will use the roadmap as an evolving plan against which it can track progress of its own research and activities—as well as those of the broader hydropower community—on the way to realizing the hydropower Vision. The five national laboratories with hydropower expertise (Argonne, Idaho, National Renewable Energy, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest national laboratories) will execute this project on DOE’s behalf. Although PNNL will act as lead, all five laboratories bring different capabilities that cover the Vision pillars:
- growth (e.g., mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering; grid integration),
- optimization (e.g., systems analysis, operations research, computational fluid dynamics modeling),
- and sustainability (e.g., environmental science and assessment, regulatory policy).
ORNL has developed a reference database of existing research that classifies hydropower-focused efforts based on the Vision action areasThe action areas are different but related the pillars: The proposed roadmap actions are intended to motivate committed stakeholders to consider specific activities that they are in a position to facilitate or carry out, whether alone or in concert with others. A draft of the Progress, Gaps and Similarities Report is being evaluated by the greater hydropower community and is planned for release later this year. More information may be found on the DOE Hydropower Vision page.
By enabling the hydropower community to better understand its progress toward achieving the Vision and by keeping its roadmap relevant, DOE will be able to achieve its goals of a cost-competitive sustainable hydropower future.