Hydropower

Things To Know:  Hydro electricity is produced by various types of turbines made to harness the kinetic energy of water as it attempts to reach sea level from higher and dryer locations.  It is on average the lowest cost source of renewable energy per unit.  This advantage is a large reason that 13% of the electricity consumed in the U.S. is generated at a dam.  If you hear people speak of hydro power as source that has largely been tapped out, this is not really the whole story.  This is only the case for the “low hanging fruit” massive generation sites, which are admittedly fairly tapped out in our country at least.  However, only three percent of the approximately 80,000 dams in the U.S. are currently producing any current.  While the technology of old was not well suited for the smaller dams, there have been numerous improvements in the design and prefabrication of the turbines.

Hydro Electricity:  Numerous slow moving and small capacity streams and rivers await our turbines.  New technologies are making our ability to harness this source of power at ever increasing rates of efficiency with fewer and fewer eco-impacts.  The following are some companies and a few web sites that are involved in this industry.  The last web site breaks the trend of manufactures based in America for this page but it is particularly well done.

Manufactures include: Canyon Industries- www.canyonindustries, Harris Hydroelectric, Hydro West Group Inc, L&S Electric Inc, Lil Otto Hydroworks, Nautilus Water Turbine, North American Hydro Inc, The James Leffel & CO, and finally based out of Ireland:

www.newmillshydro.freeserve.co.uk/sitemap.html

The use of hydropower is hundreds of years old, but the newer technologies have just arrived on the scene.  The newer efficiencies and eco-sensitivities are passed the design phase and available today.

Please advise the 2020 Institute if you feel we’ve left out any must see statistics or new technologies in this area or if you feel we’ve inadvertently misrepresented anything on this page.