By Loren Henry, Broker
Worldwide Facilities – San Diego, CA
Nationwide, hydropower was the largest generator of clean, renewable electricity in 2018, representing 7% of total U.S. electricity generation and nearly 40% of renewable electricity generation, according to the National Hydropower Association.
Today, approximately 2,200 power plants make up the nation’s hydropower fleet, employing more than 66,000 workers.
Advantages of Hydroelectric Energy
1. It’s Reliable – Despite being dependent on the level of precipitation and/or water runoff, hydroelectric power is a reliable source of energy. As long as water is available, electricity can be generated. Moreover, the flow and output of electricity can be controlled, so where power consumption is low, water flow can be reduced, conserving it for times when power consumption spikes.
2. It’s Safer and Easier on the Environment – Compared to energy production from fossil fuels and other energy sources, hydroelectric power generates electricity with zero waste that can harm the environment.
3. It Costs Less to Operate and Maintain – Although the construction of a power plant carries an expensive price tag, once built, most plants require very little upkeep, which can lower overall operating costs.
4. It’s Renewable – Our earth continually produces and manages the water cycle that fuels hydroelectric energy, making it a truly renewable resource.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy has identified five action areas that can help to expand hydropower energy for the future:
1. New Advances in Technology – Innovative technologies can help to reduce costs and improve power production efficiencies and environmental performance. New developments in water technologies include modular hydropower, pumped-storage hydropower, tidal energy, wave energy, and the ability to power non-powered dams.
2. Sustainable Development and Operation – This includes using integrated approaches that strike a balance between environmental, social and economic factors. It also included opportunities to create more jobs in the manufacturing and installation of facilities.
3. Enhanced Revenue and Market Structures – Compensation and incentives for new and existing hydropower will increase due to the number of energy production and grid support services.
4. More Effective Regulatory Processes – This includes increasing access to shared data, making information regarding advances more available, enhancing process efficiency and reducing risks and costs.
5. Enhanced Collaboration, Education and Outreach – This includes sharing best practices for maintaining, operating and constructing facilities, as well as developing educational programs to train hydropower professionals.
As renewable hydropower continues to grow, it’s important that organizations understand the insurance options that are available to better mitigate the risks. At Worldwide Facilities, we’re renewable energy experts with the market reach and experience to help you better advise your energy clients. For information, please call Loren Henry at 619-541-4265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.