Energy from the Earth: Hydropower

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Hydropower is the largest renewable energy resource in the United States and provided about 6 percent of total U.S. energy generation in 2014, according to the Energy Information Administration*. Washington, Oregon, New York, and California are a few of the top hydropower producing states but nearly all states generate at least some hydroelectric power. Research is helping to expand the variety of hydropower technologies, which are being deployed at a range of scales.

Hydropower’s complex interdependencies with other land and reservoir uses make it unique in our energy generation portfolio and affect our decisions on its continued use and expansion. Informed policy must consider the current state of the hydropower industry, new technological directions, and the range of environmental issues facing the future of hydropower in the U.S.

In this briefing, speakers will address key questions about hydropower, including:

  • What is the current role of hydropower in the United States?
  • What are the issues related to land and water resources, now and in the future?
  • What new technologies are available or being developed for hydropower?
  • What are the challenges facing the future development of hydropower?


  • David Zayas, Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs and Technical Services, National Hydropower Association
  • Jeff Opperman, Lead Scientist, Great Rivers Partnership, The Nature Conservancy
  • Tim Welch, Hydropower Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Bill Werkheiser, Moderator, Associate Director for Water, U.S. Geological Survey

Date: November 19, 2015 2:00 pm
Location: 2226 Rayburn House Office Building

Presented by: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, American Geophysical Union, American Geosciences Institute, Association of American State Geologists, Geological Society of America, National Ground Water Association, National Science Foundation—Directorate for Geosciences, Soil Science Society of America, U.S. Geological Survey

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