Hydropower is probably the most invisible of the generation sources in the US. It does not have a smokestack, is defined by its reliability and creates none of the emissions that hamper expansions at traditional fossil-fueled generators.
And although in the American mind hydropower is defined by enormous projects like the Hoover Dam, much of the hydropower in the US is actually much smaller in scale, making debates over wild species migration and the filling of valleys applicable only to a much smaller number of projects.
Faced with the same financing and permitting challenges that impact many of their competing generation sources despite their fundamental differences, the National Hydropower Association has taken steps to bring the public’s understanding of the sector up to date. Wave power, which holds immense potential promise as a generation source, is part of the sector, and the industry promised to meet a significant proportion of the proposed renewable energy goals in the US earlier this year.