The National Hydropower Association said it welcomed the recent announcement that U.S. government agencies signed a memorandum of understanding that promotes hydropower development.
The U.S. Department of Energy, Department of the Interior and Army Corps of Engineers recently signed the memorandum of understanding, which sets a number of goals for enhancing the nation’s hydropower industry.
Included in the MOU are the goals of identifying future sustainable hydropower generation sites, upgrading existing hydro projects and promoting new hydropower technologies while increasing cooperation among agencies. The MOU also calls for an increased emphasis on environmentally-friendly hydropower production practices.
NHA Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci was especially pleased to see the increased level of intergovernmental cooperation outlined in the MOU. NHA has long maintained that more robust cooperation among the many agencies involved in the hydropower licensing and permitting process is key to reducing costs and providing more certainty for developers, the association said in a press release.
“Both developers and investors want to see a more efficient process,” Church Ciocci said. “Right now, our industry is looking at more than 100,000 megawatts of new capacity, so we’re also interested in seeing federal incentives that align with the reality of licensing and permitting. We’re optimistic that the plan outlined in the MOU will help set us on a course toward that goal.”
NHA President Andrew Munro, added that he was also pleased to hear both Chu and Salazar stress hydropower’s environmental benefits.
“Hearing Secretary Chu say, ‘I’m for hydropower, because I’m an environmentalist,’ resonated with me, as I’m sure it does with our entire industry,” he said. “Current U.S. hydropower generation avoids 225 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Munro also applauded the idea that the MOU focuses on an action-oriented approach that begins with data collection.
“Our industry is looking at opportunities to double our generating capacity, employ more than 700,000 Americans, and expand our already significant contribution to climate policy, so we certainly agree with Secretary Chu, Secretary Salazar, and Assistant Secretary Darcy that developing hydropower generation is a national imperative,” Munro said. “Now is the time to explore our potential and act.”
Both Church Ciocci and Munro added that NHA stands ready to work with the agencies and other stakeholders to build our hydropower resources.
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