Legislation Aims to Bolster American Hydropower

House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) introduced legislation, the Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act, to encourage and expand clean, renewable, and reliable American hydropower generation though innovation and licensing reform.  

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES), alongside other energy industry leaders supported the introduction of the bill, citing its important contribution to hydropower expansion across the United States. 

“Hydropower’s unique benefits are an essential part of any climate solution,” said CRES President Heather Reams. “The Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act is a critical step forward to create jobs and provide renewable and reliable baseload energy. CRES is proud to support House Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ efforts to remove barriers to harness hydropower’s full potential and ensure a resilient and reliable clean energy grid.” 

This legislation would:

  • Confirms that hydropower is an essential renewable energy resource for all Americans by ensuring that electricity produced from hydropower qualifies as a renewable resource for all federal programs and procurement requirements.  
  • Reforms the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing process to protect existing hydropower resources and encourage the development of small and next-generation projects. 
  • Removes barriers to rapidly expanding hydropower development by identifying electricity market rules and ownership models that encourage development of conventional, pumped storage, conduit, and emerging hydropower technologies.  
  • Recognizes hydropower’s contributions to a more stable and reliable electric grid, by promoting its use to help balance electricity supply and demand and integrate intermittent power sources cost-effectively.  
  • Addresses construction barriers the hydropower industry has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic by extending the time by which a project must commence construction after receiving its license. 

 To learn more about the Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act, click here. 

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