Navigant Study


Smith Peak

In early 2009, the National Hydropower Association commissioned Navigant Consulting to conduct a study examining the hydropower industry’s job-creation and capacity-growth potential.

Navigant’s assessment confirmed what former Energy Secretary Steven Chu described as an “incredible opportunity” to develop America’s “lowest-cost energy option.”

The results demonstrate the industry’s extraordinary potential to expand its contribution to the country’s energy, environmental, and economic goals: Hydropower can create 1.4 million cumulative jobs and add 60,000 megawatts of affordable, domestic, renewable energy by 2025.


The study examined the industry’s potential under two different scenarios: business as usual, where national policies mandate 10 percent renewable electricity, and an accelerated case, where a 25 percent renewable electricity requirement is in place.

Both scenarios also assume that existing federal and state incentives for renewable energy development, such as tax incentives and state RES programs, remain in place. In both scenarios, Navigant found, the U.S. hydropower industry has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

In assessing the potential for new generating capacity, the study looked at several major classes of hydropower technology: conventional, microhydro, run-of-river, hydrokinetic, pumped storage and among developing technologies, wave, ocean current and tidal in-stream conversion.

For highlights of the Navigant study, click here.
For the Full Report, click here.
For the summary, with updated state-by-state breakdowns, click here.