A strength of the renewable energy sector is the diversity within it. Wind and solar attract most of the attention, but renewable energy includes biofuels, biomass, geothermal and, last but not least, hydro.
Hydropower provides 50% or more of the power in several states and operates all across America. The total capacity is 90,000 megawatts and accounts for more than 60% of all US renewable generation.
As big as hydro is today, it could provide much more electricity. For example, Navigant estimated that another 60,000 megawatts of generation could be added. Major opportunities for increased hydro production is in so-called mini-hydro installations, where small turbines can turn rushing water in conduits into power.
To move forward such smaller hydro projects, the Hydro Regulatory Efficiency Act has been introduced. Happily, this bill may even enjoy broad bi-partisan support. Hopefully that hopeful remark was not a kiss of death for it!