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Future development direction of the U.S. hydropower industry

in the past two years, the U.S. Department of energy (DOE) has cooperated with 300 experts from more than 150 enterprises, environmental organizations, local and federal government agencies, academic institutions, power system operators, scientific research institutions and other stakeholders to jointly explore the development direction of the hydropower industry in the next few decades. Doe believes that, Hydropower projects can reduce "carbon emissions", but their potential has not been fully tapped. Recently, a comprehensive road map was released to comprehensively interpret the entire hydropower industry.

this is called the hydropower vision The report did not put forward any policy recommendations, but provided a road map, indicating what actions need to be taken by the hydropower industry, scientific research community and other departments to bring the domestic sustainable energy structure to a higher level. Hydropower projects will continue to increase in the future. The report defines the three basic "pillars" of optimization, growth and environmental protection, and points out what actions need to be taken on this basis to achieve the socio-economic benefits of hydropower

U.S. Secretary of energy E. monitz believes that hydropower has provided clean, cheap and reliable electricity for the United States over the past 100 years, and pumped storage power generation complements the currently rapidly developing new technologies such as wind and solar power generation. The hydropower vision report clearly points out that hydropower and pumped storage power generation will play a greater role in the development of clean energy in the future

the full name of the report is "hydropower vision: the earliest new chapter of renewable energy in the United States". Its research results believe that with the continuous progress of technology, the innovation of market mechanism and people's attention to environmental sustainability, the scale of hydropower generation and storage in the United States can be increased from the current 101gw to nearly 150gw by 2050. If this growth can be achieved, it will help the United States develop a low-carbon economy and give full play to the advantages of renewable energy

L.C. Qiaoqi, executive director of the national Hydropower Association, said that at present, some people mistakenly believe that there is insufficient space for sustainable growth in the hydropower industry. In this context, the release of the report fundamentally restarted the continued development of the hydropower industry and provided new ideas for this. Hydropower is a clean and renewable energy, its potential has not been fully explored, and it can play a greater role in meeting the national demand for clean energy

the report also emphasizes the benefits that hydropower brings to current and future public health and environment. From now to 2050, the value that hydropower can produce includes:


avoiding the loss caused by greenhouse gas emissions, reducing 5.6 billion tons, equivalent to reducing the emissions of 1.2 billion vehicles in one year, saving a total of 209billion US dollars


avoid medical expenses and economic losses caused by air pollution, worth $58billion


save 113 billion cubic meters of steam or cooling water for thermal power stations

l.c. Qiaoqi also said that every megawatt of clean renewable energy increased by hydropower will have a positive impact on the communities it serves. The social and economic benefits of existing and future new hydropower projects are enormous. By 2050, the newly installed 50gw of hydropower will reduce 5million cases of acute respiratory disease and 750000 cases of childhood asthma

in addition, the United States has great potential for hydropower and pumped storage power generation, which can increase and support renewable energy investment in the country. By 2050, hydropower can provide 195000 jobs and generate cumulative economic growth worth $150billion

according to the findings of the report, the following areas will have great growth potential: ① on non power generation dams, the installed capacity of new power generation is 4.8gw; ② Increase 6.3gw installed capacity through upgrading of existing hydropower projects; ③ The installed capacity of the new pumped storage project is 35.5gw; ④ The installed capacity of the new hydropower development project in the basin is 1.75gw

in fact, shortly after the report was released, DOE announced that it would raise $9.8 million for 12 projects to develop new technologies to reduce the investment cost of pumped storage and non power dam development and shorten the deployment time. Among them, the pumped storage project will carry out feasibility studies on some new concepts of pure pumped storage systems

2 development path and challenges

to reduce long-term costs, industry experts, government departments and academia need to continue technology research and development and cooperation. A set of scientific and comprehensive environmental performance standards and evaluation tools need to be developed to promote the sustainability of hydropower project design and operation

According to doe, the implementation of actions according to the road map will usher in a new era of sustainable growth of domestic hydropower, while protecting the country's energy, environment and economic interests. Among them, there are five major action directions to help realize the energy vision

(1) promote the progress of hydropower technology

develop a new generation of dam hydropower and pumped storage (PSH) power generation technology to improve the efficiency of hydropower generation, so as to reduce investment costs and environmental damage. Pay attention to and improve the environmental benefits of old and new hydropower technologies, and ensure that this improvement work continues. Verify the performance and reliability of the new dam hydropower and PSH power generation technology, and promote the further improvement of the installed capacity of hydropower. Ensure that the hydropower technology can cope with the increasing volatile renewable power sources in the power system, and the innovative hydropower technology can minimize the loss of the increasingly volatile renewable power sources (such as wind energy and solar energy) in the power system to the electrical equipment with smooth water surface

(2) sustainable development and operation of hydropower

improve the flexibility of hydropower generation to cope with climate change, provide the impact assessment framework of climate change on hydropower generation, improve the ability of hydropower generation to cope with climate change, and improve its flexibility. Strengthening the cooperation between various stakeholders in the hydropower industry and strengthening the cooperation through the hydropower development plan is conducive to the realization of the multiple goals of economy, environment and electricity. Improve the integration of water conservancy development in basins and basins, and innovative methods and tools can improve the target coupling of a variety of water conservancy development projects. Evaluating the environmental sustainability of new hydropower facilities, developing quantitative environmental sustainability indicators and applying them to the development and operation of hydropower facilities will help countries, states and regions reach an agreement on the development of hydropower resources

(3) improve the income and market structure of hydropower

improve the evaluation and compensation mechanism of hydropower in the power market, improve the existing market scheme and develop new schemes, which will help to fully understand the compensation benefits brought by the flexibility of new and existing hydropower generation. Improving the evaluation and compensation mechanism of PSH in the power market, and improving the operation and dispatching market rules related to PSH in the establishment of a state-owned technology platform in the power market will help to give full play to the potential and value of PSH technology. Eliminating the financing obstacles of hydropower projects can improve the economic benefits of hydropower projects by reducing investment costs and the long-term vision of investors. Raising awareness of the qualifications to participate in the renewable clean energy market and creating a set of tools to better understand policy rules and market access can reduce developers' misunderstanding and enable them to target the highest value market

(4) optimize the hydropower regulation process

identify the results of regulatory improvement, and identify and disseminate best practices, which is conducive to the realization of multiple benefits such as energy, environment and social economy in the process of hydropower management. Accelerating the acquisition of new knowledge and innovative technologies by all stakeholders to achieve regulatory goals can enhance the environmental benefits of hydropower development, improve the value of hydropower facilities, and reduce the costs of licensing and approval. Analyze the impact of different policy scenarios, improve the ability to analyze the impact of policies on the market, power system, ecosystem and population at the local, regional and national levels, and provide information to decision makers. Strengthen the participation and understanding of stakeholders in the regulatory field of small platforms with a fluctuation in the interest phase curve, and ensure that stakeholders acquire the necessary knowledge and experience to effectively participate in the planning, decision-making and management process

(5) strengthen cooperation, education and publicity

improve the acceptance of hydropower as a renewable energy, and show and publicize that hydropower is a core renewable energy, which can improve public understanding and promote the inclusion of hydropower in the clean energy plan. Compiling, disseminating and implementing best practices and benchmark operations and R & D activities will help improve the performance of hydropower. Carry out training courses for professional knowledge and talents of water conservancy and power generation, evaluate and carry out hydropower knowledge and education projects that comprehensively cover universities and vocational and technical schools, and train a new generation of professional and technical talents of hydropower generation to meet the development needs of the hydropower industry. Use the existing federal R & D team research and analysis data, and compile it into data for decision makers and institutional investors to make appropriate decisions and investments. Maintain the development roadmap to realize the hydropower development vision. Through tracking the hydropower technology research and development and deployment, the hydropower development vision roadmap should be updated regularly to identify the research activities that should be prioritized

although the hydropower industry has broad prospects, the national Hydropower Association quickly pointed out that the current hydropower projects will take 10 years or even longer to be approved. The Association believes that the current major obstacles to hydropower development include outdated approval procedures, conflicts in development priorities, mutual power grabbing by competent departments, and poor decision-making

l.c. Qiaoqi concluded that the report made the modernization and reform needs of the approval process clearer and more important. The approval problem will hinder the development of hydropower. If there are delays, conflicts and contradictions in the approval process, the goal of increasing the installed capacity of hydropower by 50gw in 2050 cannot be achieved. In order to achieve clean and safe energy in the future, hydropower potential should be fully developed according to this new road map

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