Hydroelectric energy is poised to play an integral role in supplying reliable green power

HOUSTON, Aug. 14, 2001 – Hydroelectric power is getting renewed interest from a number of utilities and private energy producers as a clean, reliable energy source.

Stronger demand for green power is creating a renewed interest in hydroelectric energy. Currently, nine percent of electricity in the United States is produced from hydroelectric sources with a total national capacity of over 95,000 MW.

Approximately 90 percent of new generation under development is in the form of natural gas fired combustion turbine stations. With the public’s concerns over global warming in the forefront, some utilities and private energy producers (PEP) are developing studies to increase capacity from green energy sources including hydroelectric plants, according to a new report from Industrial Information Resources, Inc.

In recent years, development of hydroelectric energy plants have been hampered by prolonged licensing processes due to concerns over changing flood plains, recreational infringements and fish or wildlife safety. However, modern technology appears to be offering some innovative solutions to these past concerns by providing environmentally friendly power sources.

Developers utilizing this modern technology include Universal Electric Power and Symbiotics LLC. Combined, these two companies have identified over 250 potential sites for development of hydroelectric plants. If built, these plants would produce over 2,000MW of renewable energy. The attractiveness of the proposed facilities can be attributed to the smaller design, which averages 8MW, shorter construction time of eight to twelve weeks, and a relatively low capital investment of $700,000 per mega-watt on average.

Despite past licensing and permitting concerns, hydroelectric power remains the most efficient and requires only a reliable water source for fuel. Due to this fact, development of new hydroelectric sources is experiencing growth in Canada, Latin America, Asia and parts of Europe. Currently, hydroelectric energy accounts for about 675,000MW in foreign countries.

For more information on trends and upcoming construction activities in the Power and Energy markets as well as other industrial sectors send inquiries to powergroup@industrialinfo.com or visit us at www.industrialinfo.com.

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