Hydro Could Be Huge...If
DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has just studied hydropower up, down and sideways and media are still picking apart the sweeping report that came out a month ago. Utility Dive offers a useful synopsis. Unfortunately if you like hydropower, Utility Dive finds a lot of "ifs" in DOE's projections for "A New Chapter for America’s 1st Renewable Electricity Source."
As Utility Dive points out, "[t]hrough 2030, the DOE study reports, growth will come mainly from 'optimizing and upgrading the existing fleet, and powering non-powered dams.' ” Then, "between 2030 and 2050, the study foresees solar and wind rising to a 45% U.S. grid penetration, driving the development of a remarkable 35.5 GW of new PSH [pumped storage hydropower] to balance the variable generation."
That's a big "If."