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Zayas to address DOE's Hydropower Vision plan at HydroVision International 2014

Taking part in the HydroVision International 2014 keynote session on Tuesday, July 22 will be Jose Zayas, Director, Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy, who will provide an update on DOE's recently announced Hydropower Vision plan.

The Hydropower Vision plan, announced earlier this year during the National Hydropower Association's annual conference in Washington, D.C., could help dramatically increase America's hydroelectric capacity in the coming decades.

The plan is similar to one DOE recently completed for the windpower sector and is intended to not only increase hydroelectricity's visibility, but also quantify and monetize its advantages in a way that makes it an attractive option for policymakers, developers and consumers.

"The key section of this report is taking that picture, taking that understanding, taking all that information and then distilling it to the activities that all of us must do," Zayas said at the NHA conference. "What is the role of the government? What is the role of the industry? What is the role of other stakeholders and what do we need to do to make these things happen in order to try to maximize the possibility?"

Zayas said DOE is calling upon all members of the hydropower community to contribute and ultimately shape Hydropower Vision, with HydroVision International 2014 serving as an important opportunity to rally the industry.

"It will require participation from all of you in terms of your knowledge, your information and your voices," Zayas said. "Our goal is that by the time we are completed, most of you know what this is about, most of you have had an opportunity to voice your opinion, and at the same time, you become agents of this work and of this industry."

The report will seek to answer a number of questions regarding the current state and future of hydroelectric power, including market and growth opportunities; how conventional and pumped-storage projects factor into America's energy mix; hydropower's economic, environmental and social benefits; and what activities might be needed to realize Hydropower Vision's scope.

Already America's most prevalent source of renewable energy and an important component in President Barack Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy, a DOE report also released today notes that an additional 65,000 MW of hydroelectric capacity exists across more than three million U.S. rivers and streams.

"Far from being tapped out, hydropower has the potential to play an even larger role in our diverse electricity portfolio as we strive for a cleaner energy future and a stronger economy," NHA Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci said. "I applaud DOE for undertaking this extensive study."

The report, which builds on a previous DOE study that identified 12,000 MW of capacity at the nation's existing non-powered dams, further emphasizes hydro's room for growth.

"Hydropower can double its contributions by the year 2030," Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said. "We have to pick up the covers off of this hidden renewable that's right in front of our eyes and continues to have significant potential."

DOE said it plans to provide updates on Hydropower Vision at the HydroVision International 2014 conference and exhibition in Nashville, Tenn., and the 2015 NHA conference before issuing a draft report during the third quarter of 2015.

"This is an exciting time," Zayas said. "But we believe the time is now, and we need all of your help.''

The HydroVision International keynote session takes place Tuesday, July 22 at 3 p.m. The address also includes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, World Bank sector manager Meike van Ginneken, National Hydropower Association executive director Linda Church Ciocci, and Canadian Hydropower Association president Jacob Irving.

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