What is Hydropower and Where Does it Come From?

Did you know that hydroelectric power is currently the largest producer of renewable electricity in the country, generating around 6.4% of the nation's total electricity in 2016 as well as 43.94% of the total renewable electricity generation? Understanding how hydropower can reduce greenhouse emissions while saving money is an important statistic to consider as the country evolves to find new energy solutions.

Hydropower is a renewable energy source that converts flowing water into electricity. Turbine rotors are connected to generators and when water flows
through them, causing them to spin— the generators create electricity. There are three main sources of hydropower, which can often overlap: impoundment facilities, run-of-river facilities, and pumped storage facilities.

In 2017, the total installed capacity of hydropower was nearly 103,000 MW - that’s enough to power up to 103 million American homes.

The U.S. Department of Energy released a roadmap that aims to increase installed capacity by nearly 50 GW by 2050, a 49% increase from today. This report claims that investing in this increase of installed capacity can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5,600,000,000 metric tons by 2050. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 3% each year.

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