Perspectives: Unlocking Hydro’s Potential

Editor’s Note: We invited Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the National Hydropower Association, to share her association’s outlook on hydropower.

Unlocking hydropower’s potential in the United States has been the overarching theme of the National Hydropower Association (NHA) for the past 12 months. On all fronts – legislative, regulatory and communications – we are firing on all cylinders to ensure waterpower plays a greater role in securing America’s clean energy future.

Today, the U.S. Congress stands on the verge of modernizing hydropower’s licensing process with provisions included in both House and Senate energy legislation. NHA remains committed to working with all stakeholders to sign into law provisions that bring the process into the 21st century, while maintaining the integrity of our nation’s critical environmental protections.

Improvements in the timeliness and efficiency of our licensing process, however, are not the only market driver that will determine our future. We fought to receive recognition of hydropower and marine energy in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, and we secured a two-year extension of the Production Tax Credits and Investment Tax Credits. NHA is also staying vigilant to ensure the full implementation of the hydropower provisions within the Water Resources Reform and Development Act.

For waterpower to provide a greater contribution to lessening the carbon footprint in the U.S., we need to have a greater understanding of where we are going. To that end, we are preparing for the release of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydropower Vision report. This important new tool will provide a 360-degree view of our industry and a roadmap for tapping into hydropower’s potential. Additionally, it will launch a national discussion about the critical role hydropower can play in meeting new electricity demands with clean power.

Certainly, there are challenges to our future growth. But the challenges that lie ahead are really opportunities – not only for increased development, but also to start a new conversation on the benefits of hydropower as the nation’s largest clean, renewable electricity source.

For more on NHA’s Unlock Hydro initiative, visit

As Linda Church Ciocci referenced above, DOE’s long-awaited Hydropower Vision is nearly complete and in fact will be officially unveiled at Hydro- Vision International 2016 in Minneapolis, Minn., U.S. Jose Zayas, director of the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, will officially present the final details of the Hydropower Vision to the hydroelectric power industry during the keynote address, which takes place on Tuesday, July 26.

Plan to join us for this exciting presentation. Visit to learn more about HydroVision International and to register.

Elizabeth Ingram
Managing Editor
(918) 831-9175

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