The US industry today has 100,000MW of installed capacity. The Job Creation Opportunities in Hydropower report, prepared by Navigant Consulting, says an additional 23,000-60,000MW could be added through new technologies, efficiency improvements, and research and development. This additional capacity represents only 6-15% of the total untapped hydro resource potential in the country – currently estimated at 400+GW.

The study’s findings prompted Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell to call on policymakers to support development of hydro power, America’s largest renewable energy resource. “It’s time to invest in renewable energy resources that generate electricity in this country and that provide jobs for Americans,” he said. “Hydro power presents elected officials across the country an opportunity to bring thousands of long-term, family-wage jobs to our states.”

Voith Hydro CEO Mark Garner agreed. “This study confirms what our experience at Voith Hydro has already shown – investments in hydro power lead directly to good-paying, long-lasting American jobs. We have seen 27% growth in permanent employees in the past two years, and as the hydro power industry continues to grow, we have a huge potential to create additional clean, family-wage jobs across the US.”

To help encourage the development of new hydro, the nha is calling on Congressional leaders to:

• Enact a national RES that recognizes and supports hydropower

• Support long-term tax incentives that give hydro parity with other renewables

• Accelerate licensing for pumped storage and small hydro

• Expand federal R&D funding for hydropower technologies

“Hydro power must play a critical role in our national energy, environmental, and economic policy,” NHA Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci said. “NHA stands ready to work with all policymakers who pursue development of America’s critical hydro power resources.”

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