The 2014 Hydropower Market Report

The US hydropower fleet has been providing clean, reliable power for more than a hundred years. However, no systematic documentation exists of the US fleet and the trends influencing it in recent years. This first-ever Hydropower Market Report (HMR) seeks to fill this gap and provide industry and policy makers with a quantitative baseline on the distribution, capabilities, and status of hydropower in the United States.

Overall, the size of the US hydropower fleet has continued to grow over the last decade as owners optimize and upgrade existing assets. Despite some retirements, US hydropower capacity increased by nearly one and a half gigawatts (GW) from 2005 to 2013. For those new projects that have been constructed during that time, only four—out of more than a hundred—were not associated with existing water infrastructure. Instead, the industry has focused on opportunities to develop hydropower on existing pieces of water infrastructure at non-powered dams (NPDs) and conduits. These types of projects, along with dozens of new large-scale pumped storage hydropower (PSH) projects that are being pursued, dominate the current development pipeline and face at least two differences relative to projects completed since 2000. The permitting and licensing process for many smaller hydropower projects has changed in recent years, which could result in less cost and time spent in federal permitting. Also, the extensive bond, tax credit, and grant programs that helped fuel development in recent years are no longer available, and hydropower projects might have to rely on alternative sources of funding and revenue, which could complicate or slow future developments.

Information & Data:

  • 2014 Hydropower Market Report (Final Report, April 2015, 3.58 MB)
  • Download data from the figures in the report: [Metadata: Excel] [Data: Excel]

[Citation] Uría-Martínez, R., P.W. O’Connor, and M. M. Johnson (2015). 2014 Hydropower Market Report. Washington, DC: Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/EE-1195.

[Citation] Uría-Martínez, R., Johnson, M.M., and O’Connor, P.W. (2016). Hydropower Market Report Update. April 2016 [PowerPoint Slides].

[Citation] Uría-Martínez, R., Johnson, M.M., and O’Connor, P.W. (2017). Hydropower Market Report Update. April 2017 [PowerPoint Slides].