National Hydropower Association
October 14, 2009
NHA Study Echoes Energy Secretary Chu’s Words: Hydro Offers a “Massive Amount of Power” and an “Incredible Opportunity”
York, Pennsylvania (October 13, 2009) – The U.S. hydropower industry is ready to lead the country in the creation of 700,000 family-supporting jobs by 2025 as it helps steer the United States toward energy security and a clean, renewable energy future.
Hydropower can add 60,000MW of clean, renewable energy to the nation’s electric grid by 2025. That’s enough to serve 17 million households – the equivalent of all the homes in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago combined.
The findings prompted Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell to call on policymakers to support development of hydropower, 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. Hydropower 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 hydropower lead directly to good-paying, long-lasting American jobs. We have seen 27 percent growth in permanent employees in the past two years, and as the hydropower industry continues to grow, we have a huge potential to create additional clean, family-wage jobs across the United States.”
The U.S. hydropower industry today has 100,000 megawatts of installed capacity. The industry will add 60,000MW of new capacity through new technologies, efficiency improvements, and research and development.
“The hydropower industry is prepared to double its current capacity of clean, domestic, renewable waterpower resources,” said NHA President Andrew Munro of Grant County (WA) Public Utility District. “Hydropower offers tremendous potential for America to double is renewable energy production, provide reliable electricity for American families, and create thousands of new jobs.”
The U.S. hydropower industry currently employs approximately 300,000 people. As the industry continues to grow, every region will see additional good jobs and new economic opportunities.
According to James Lautar, international representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, “Hydropower is already an important source of good-paying, high-quality jobs for workers across the country. A national investment in hydropower will help grow American jobs for decades to come.”
In addition to providing clean, affordable, domestic electricity, hydropower also helps foster the growth of other renewable energy resources. By providing load firming and energy storage, hydropower helps maximize the benefits of solar and wind resources, too. In fact, at a recent green jobs event in Pennsylvania, Energy Secretary Steven Chu called hydropower’s dual roles “an incredible opportunity” to expand the country’s clean energy resources.
“As Secretary Chu points out, both hydropower and pumped storage serve the country in many different ways. Current hydropower capacity alone helps us avoid 225 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, so the contributions are significant,” said NHA Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci.
Church Ciocci echoed Governor Rendell and union representatives, stating that 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
“Hydropower must play a critical role in our national energy, environmental, and economic policy,” Church Ciocci said. “On behalf of NHA and the hydropower industry, I’d like to thank Governor Rendell for his vision and leadership on this issue and Voith Hydro for hosting this event. NHA stands ready to work with all policymakers who pursue development of America’s critical hydropower resources.”
(Copies of the study, commissioned by NHA from Navigant Consulting, are available on NHA’s website at www.hydro.org.)
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