VIDEO: Path to Clean Energy: The Role of Hydropower in a Rapidly Decarbonizing Grid
On December 7th, NHA hosted its latest Path to Clean Energy Virtual Event, “The Role of Hydropower in a Rapidly Decarbonizing Grid” featuring panelists from American Rivers, Stanford Woods Institute for Environment and Union of Concerned Scientists.
About the Event
Recently, the hydropower industry and river community signed a historic Joint Statement of Collaboration to discuss ways to maximize hydropower’s climate benefits, while also mitigating the environmental impact of dams and supporting environmental restoration. With the inauguration just a few months away, President-Elect Joe Biden has proposed a climate plan that would eliminate carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 2035.
At this virtual event, panelists explored the increased role that hydropower can play in decarbonizing the grid, and how it can be accomplished in a way that bolsters the health and vitality of our nation’s rivers.
- Bob Irvin, President, American Rivers
- Dan Reicher, Senior Research Scholar, Stanford Woods Institute for Environment
- Steve Clemmer, Director of Energy Research & Analysis, Union of Concerned Scientists
- Malcolm Woolf, President & CEO, National Hydropower Association
The Joint Statement of Collaboration of Hydropower was convened by Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment, where Dan Reicher is a senior research scholar.
With more than 90,000 existing U.S. dams, of which less than 2,500 have power houses, the hydropower industry and river community collectively agreed that this basic fact created the opportunity to:
- Rehabilitate powered and non-powered dams that need repairs,
- Retrofit (e.g., upgrade) powered dams by adding generation at non-powered dams, developing pumped storage projects, and enhancing dam and reservoir operations, and
- Remove dams that no longer provided benefits to society, have safety issues that cannot be cost-effectively mitigated, or have adverse environmental impacts that cannot be effectively addressed.