The National Hydropower Association in the US has welcomed the news that President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law this week, with CEO Malcolm Woolf stating that the legislation will help to accelerate the development of new pumped storage hydropower projects and hydropower generation on existing dams.
In a statement, Woolf described the legislation as the ‘nation’s most significant climate legislation to date’, adding that the industry has been advocating for long-term extension of renewable tax credits at a rate that puts it on par with wind and solar.
“This law rightfully provides hydropower with tax parity, and, by moving to a technology-neutral approach, ensures that it is never left behind again,” Woolf said. ““Flexible, carbon-free generation like reservoir hydropower and long-duration energy storage are essential to firm up our increased reliance on variable resources like wind and solar. Hopefully, the new 30% investment tax credit for energy storage will jumpstart development of new pumped storage for the first time in a generation.”
Woolf said that while the bill recognizes that new hydropower generation is essential to a reliable, clean energy grid, the NHA is disappointed that the existing hydropower fleet, which currently serves an estimated 30 million Americans, may have been overlooked.
“The provisions to encourage environmental improvements at the existing hydropower fleet, championed by Sen. Cantwell and Murkowski in S.2306, were not included in the bill that reached the President’s desk,” he said. “We look forward to working with Congress to preserve our nation’s fleet as we cannot address climate and ensure a reliable grid without the nation’s second largest renewable electricity resource.”