National Hydropower Day Celebrates America’s First Renewable Resource on August 23rd
Day recognizes hydropower’s contributions to America’s clean, reliable electricity mix
Washington, D.C. (August 20, 2019) – For over 135 years, hydropower has powered this nation with clean, reliable energy. In recognition of America’s first renewable resource, the National Hydropower Association announced today that August 23rd is National Hydropower Day.
National Hydropower Day celebrates hydropower’s undeniable contributions to America’s clean energy infrastructure, electrical grid resiliency and reliability benefits, and environmental protections. As the renewable resource that integrates the other renewables, like wind and solar, onto the grid, hydropower plays a critical role in America’s future.
“America needs the clean, flexible power provided by the nation’s first renewable resource” said Malcolm Woolf, NHA President & CEO. “From the Industrial Revolution to World War II to growth of the tech sector, hydropower has powered American innovation and ingenuity. With the right mix of energy, environmental and market policies, hydropower can contribute even more as the nation moves towards decarbonization of the grid and electrification of the transportation industry.”
In 2018, hydropower was the largest generator of clean, renewable electricity, representing 7 % of total U.S. electricity generation and 39.5% of renewable electricity generation. The U.S. hydropower fleet is comprised of approximately 2,200 power plants with a total capacity of roughly 102 GW, which includes 95% of U.S. storage capacity (23 GW) pumped storage. Hydropower is also a major job creator, employing 66,500 workers.
Given that hydropower pairs perfectly with other renewables, such as wind and solar, states throughout the U.S. are recognizing that hydropower is needed to help them meet their clean energy targets. Hydropower enables greater integration of variable renewables into the grid by utilizing excess generation, and being ready to produce power during low wind and solar generation periods. Hydropower also has the ability to quickly ramp electricity generation up in response to periods of peak demand.
“Hydropower is more than just the backbone of the nation’s electricity system. No other renewable resource protects and preserves our natural ecosystems, while providing recreational opportunities for families, like hydropower,” said Woolf. “In addition to renewable energy, benefits such as habitat restoration, hiking trails and fishing are just a few examples of how hydropower enhances the communities we power.”
The National Hydropower Association (NHA) is a nonprofit association dedicated exclusively to promoting the growth of clean, renewable hydropower and marine energy.