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Water Power Basics
High-level information about about water power: the clean, affordable electricity that will move our nation towards energy independence by harnessing tides, rivers, currents, wave, and marine energy.
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.
Learn more about hydropower:
- Types of Hydropower Plants
- Types of Hydropower Turbines
- Cutting Edge Hydropower R&D
- Department of Energy Saver Microhydropower Systems
- Hydropower Resources
- Hydropower Use Throughout History
- Glossary of Hydropower Terms
Learn more about MHK:
What’s New in Water Power?
Water Power Databases & Tools
Links to water power databases and access to a variety of water power visualization tools, such as maps and charts.
Water Power Reports
Links to technical reports and articles about the water power industry, specifically hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic energy.
Water Power Stakeholders
Information about the major stakeholders in the water power industry, such as name, web address, sector, and more.
Water Power Community
Provides the community with a method for engaging in conversation and providing feedback to questions about different water power topics of interest.