From Open Energy Information

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When flowing water is captured and turned into electricity, it is called hydroelectric power or hydropower. Hydropower is the largest source of renewable electricity in the United States, allows the nation to avoid 200 million metric tons of carbon emissions each year, and is responsible for more than 300,000 jobs with the potential to create thousands more.

Hydropower has been using water to make electricity for over a century. Water constantly moves through a vast global cycle, evaporating from lakes and oceans, forming clouds, precipitating as rain or snow, then flowing back down to the ocean. Because the water cycle is an endless, constantly recharging system that is not reduced or used up in the hydropower process, hydropower is considered a renewable energy.

There are several types of hydroelectric facilities, all powered by the kinetic energy of flowing water as it moves downstream. Turbines and generators convert the energy into electricity, which is then fed into the electrical grid to be used in homes, businesses, and by industry. Hydropower facilities provide a number of benefits in addition to producing electricity, such as flood control, irrigation, water supply, and a range of recreational opportunities.

Powering the Blue Economy

Marine energy and hydropower technologies play an important role in the growing renewable energy industry, but there just aren’t enough workers to fill open jobs in the industry. To continue to spur innovation and growth in these exciting technology areas, the industry needs to inspire the next generation of marine energy and hydropower workers.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are developing STEM portals to help interested students learn and to provide resources for academia and industry to educate the future workforce. Check back for content and resources including curricula and training materials, connections to developers in the industry, recordings of water power professionals as guest speakers, utility contacts for student tours and educational sessions, videos, prizes and competitions , and much more.

In the meantime, be sure to sign up for Water Power Collegiate Competition email updates.

News & Events

Hydropower Tools

Hydropower Resource Assessments

Hydropower Incentives

Water Power Stakeholders

Information about the major stakeholders in the water power industry, such as name, web address, sector, and more.