2009 Update of EPRI’s Assessment of Waterpower Potential and Development Needs Report

Waterpower XVI

This paper presents an overview and some of the key points of the 2009 Assessment of Waterpower Potential and Development Needs Report prepared by EPRI and can be found on their website www.epri.com. The assessment projects the amount of additional waterpower capacity that could be developed in the U.S. under conservative and aggressive scenarios. The middle ground or likely scenario is that with increased levels of research support and incentive programs, the U. S. can develop an additional 39,750 MW of waterpower capacity from existing conventional hydroelectric facilities and emerging waterpower technologies that access the energy potential of river, tidal, constructed waterway currents and the energy of ocean waves and thermal gradients.Existing conventional hydropower generation represents 70 percent of the U.S. renewable energy generation (over 248,312 GWH) and the opportunity exists to expand this resource. The potential for waterpower expansion, at existing hydroelectric facilities, at dams without powerhouses, and from the emerging next generation of waterpower technologies, represents a substantial increase to the nation’s renewable domestic power supply. The 2007 estimate for waterpower that could be developed by 2025 exceeds the total wind capacity brought on line over the past 30 years (20,152 MW).


Michael Bahleda, Mary Ann Adonizio