Research & Development

Next Generation Waterpower

Research and development is critical to waterpower’s future. Today, the private sector, national laboratories, and government agencies are undertaking technological and environmental research to develop tomorrow’s hydropower.

The hydropower industry takes an active role in supporting investment in new technologies and project improvements. Among the hundreds of millions of dollars invested each year in environmental enhancements at hydro facilities, companies are developing a new generation of turbines that improve fish passage, generate more power, utilize water more efficiently, and improve the oxygen content of the water released downstream of a facility, among many other inventive projects.

U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Program

At the center of hydropower R&D is the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Program, which is a critical source of support for the researchers, scientists and developers working to grow hydropower’s contribution to our country’s clean energy resources.

Working with national laboratories, industry, universities, and other federal agencies, the DOE Waterpower Program is charged with developing and deploying innovative technologies for hydropower and marine energy.

Innovation in the hydropower industry also goes beyond creating new technologies. The DOE program plays an important role in gathering baseline industry data, developing updated resource assessments and new growth analyses, studying project operations for maximization of both energy and environmental values, as well as studying new issues that may affect the industry — from potential effects of climate change on plant operations to addressing the energy storage needs to maintain a secure and functioning electric grid.

U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories

Support Funding for Hydropower & Marine Energy Research

Unlocking the vast hydropower potential of our rivers, oceans, tides and conduits requires funding to make innovative ideas a reality. Continued investment in this program is crucial to ensuring that innovative new technologies come to market and are able to generate the clean electricity America needs.