Hydropower

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Hydropower uses the energy from moving water to power machines or generate electricity. Used for over two thousand years in water mills, today hydropower is more commonly associated with electricity generation.

Basics

Photo of the McNary Dam on the Columbia River on the Oregon-Washington Border

Hydropower uses the energy from moving water to power machines or generate electricity. Used for over two thousand years in water mills, today hydropower is more commonly associated with electricity generation. Hydropower has been used to generate electricity since the late 19th century, and remains the largest source of renewable energy worldwide.
Hydroelectric power plants are usually built inside dams. The reservoir of water that collects behind the dam provides a steady supply of water, which passes through giant turbines to generate electricity. Hydropower is particularly common in places with high rainfall and lots of topography, such as Washington and Oregon, which together produce around 40% of the hydroelectricity generated in the United States.   Read more

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Latest News

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U.S. Capitol
(2016-02-02)
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Geological Surveys Database Publications

2003, Oklahoma Geological Survey

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2003, Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys

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1985, Maine Geological Survey

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1985, Maine Geological Survey

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2011, New Jersey Geological and Water Survey

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1978, Pennsylvania Geological Survey

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1989, Pennsylvania Geological Survey

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2000, Colorado Geological Survey
Describes and lists all the active coal mines in Colorado with information on each mine's location, operating company, mine type, geology, coal quality, and coal production. Includes an introduction, active or potentially active Colorado coal mines, electric generation in Colorado, and...
2005, Colorado Geological Survey
Provides the most recent information available on active, recently active and potentially active coal mines. Contains information on each mine's location, operating company, mine type, geology, coal quality, coal production, and distribution. Includes 1:1,000,000 scale map that depicts the...
2006, Colorado Geological Survey
Describes exploration, development and production activity of the gas and oil, coal, and mineral industries of the state in 2005. The report also includes information on the economic impact of these industries on the state. 57 pages 69 figures 14 tables. Digital file available as a download. IS-73D.