Skip to main content
Project

Annual Markets and Trends Report

Topic: Clean Energy

Overview/Objective

The Annual Hydropower Market and Trends Report (HMR) is the only regularly updated source of comprehensive information on the status and direction of US hydropower. This public report serves the hydropower community, including industry and policymakers, by detailing the latest capabilities, development activities, and performance, price, and supply chain trends.

First published in 2015, the HMR was commissioned by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to fill a gap in publicly available, comprehensive data on the US hydropower fleet. The report tracks activities throughout the lifecycle of US hydropower plants, including new project permitting and construction, license transfers, relicenses, and license surrenders. It also documents trends in generation and performance of the fleet, accounting for the wide diversity of facilities from large, federally owned, multipurpose water resource projects to small, privately owned plants.

As a leader in hydropower research and host of the HydroSource water-energy data repository, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) compiles and publishes the report for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy using data from a combination of public and commercial databases.

Results

Three full reports have been published, in 2015, 2018, and 2021, and updated summary slides are published annually. Data used to produce plots in the reports and slides are also published. All HMR materials are available through HydroSource at https://hydrosource.ornl.gov/.

Executive summaries are distributed to stakeholders at community meetings, such as Waterpower Week and HydroVision, and ORNL communicates key findings of the report to the public and media through press releases and the ORNL website and social media account.

Impact/Intended Impact

The ultimate goal of the HMR is to serve as an unbiased and objective reference on US hydropower development, prices, and trends for industry and stakeholders, including federal partners and Congress. The report may inform strategic planning and policy proposals and provide data to illustrate the value, challenges, and opportunities of hydropower in the United States. Within DOE, the report informs hydropower R&D planning and investment by the Water Power Technologies Office.

The HMR is also a public outreach tool to improve general understanding of hydropower and its role in facilitating the decarbonization of the US electric grid. The US hydropower fleet contributes about 40% of the country’s renewable power generation and provides additional services that enhance the flexibility and resilience of the electric grid. Additionally, the pumped storage hydropower fleet, or hydroelectric energy storage that generates power as water is pumped between two reservoirs at different elevations, accounts for more than 90% of utility-scale storage power capacity.

 

Related Publications

Hydropower Market Report 2021- Published January 2021

Updates to Hydropower Market Report 2017 – published Dec 2018

Hydropower Market Report 2017 – published 2018

Updates to Hydropower Market Report 2014 – published Dec 2016

Updates to Hydropower Market Report 2014 – published Dec 2015

Hydropower Market Report 2014 – published 2015