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A New Vision for United States Hydropower

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Program is looking toward the future of the hydropower industry by initiating the development of a long-range national Hydropower Vision. This landmark vision will establish the analytical basis for an ambitious roadmap to usher in a new era of growth in sustainable domestic hydropower over the next half century. Included in this effort will be:

  • A close examination of the current the state of the hydropower industry
  • A discussion of the costs and benefits to the nation arising from additional hydropower
  • A roadmap addressing the challenges to achieving higher levels of hydropower deployment within a sustainable national energy mix.


In addition to documenting and analyzing the current status of hydropower technologies and the hydropower industry, the objectives of the initiative are to:

  • Lead the development of a cohesive long-term vision for the benefit of the broad U.S. hydropower community
  • Analyze a range of aggressive but attainable industry growth scenarios
  • Provide best available information relative to stakeholder interests
  • Provide objective and relevant information for use by policy and decision makers.


A vision for the hydropower industry is only as powerful as the key partners that are behind it. That is why the U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Program is proud to have the involvement of the National Hydropower Association in the development of this vision. Additionally, a number of companies and organizations have voluntarily engaged with DOE to formulate the vision, including equipment manufacturers; environmental organizations; federal, state, and local government agencies; utilities; developers; independent power producers; research institutions and laboratories; associations; and more. This diverse group will help ensure that the Hydropower Vision has not only breadth, but depth in its approach to the future of this vital renewable energy industry.

To aid in this process, Hydropower Vision Task Forces are being organized around topics key to the hydropower community. For more information on the Task Forces listed below please see the Task Force Charter. To participate on one of the Task Forces please contact the Task Force leader at one of the Water Power Program's national laboratories listed in the Task Force Charter.

• Technology
• Project Development
• Sustainability, Environmental, and Regulatory Considerations
• Grid Integration and Transmission
• Operations & Maintenance and Performance Optimization
• Markets
• Pumped Storage
• Economic Development
• Modeling and Analysis
• Roadmap
• Communications


Developing the Hydropower Vision is a highly involved process that requires the coordination and input of many hydropower industry representatives as well as detailed analysis and planning. Below is a timeline of important dates that highlight key points in the Hydropower Vision development process.

Illustration of the vision timeline.  In Q1-Q2 2014: Vision Launched, 2014 NHA Conference.  Partner with NHA and engage the hydropower industry.  In Q3-Q4 2014, Progress Update and HydroVision 2014.  Assess the state of the industry, analyze potential for growth, and set targets for growth.  In Q1-Q2 2015: Progress Update and 2014 NHA Conference.  Quantify socioeconomic and environmental benefits, identify key actions and actors, and map a growth strategy.  And in Q2-Q3 2015, Draft Report and HydroVision 2015.  External review of report, submit to DOE management concurrence process, and communicate to stakeholders and decision-makers.


To get involved or for more information email