U.S. could boost green energy with upgraded dams

Friday, April 20, 2012 @ 11:04 AM
posted by rene5432

The U.S. could add a huge amount of renewable electricity just by adapting some of the existing dams scattered around the country, a new report from the Department of Energy said according to Bloomberg.

There are more than 80,000 dams in the U.S. that are not equipped to generate electricity, 32 times as many as the number that actually do produce power.

A recent study conducted by the DOE suggests these dams could turn out to be a powerful source green energy. After looking at more than 54,000 of the dams, the agency suggests that they could produce as much as 12 gigawatts of renewable electricity, around 15 percent of the country's current hydroelectric capacity.

On top of this, John Seebach explained to Bloomberg that "Putting turbines on existing dams is going to be less harmful than building new dams." Normally, building a dam requires creating a new reservoir, but the existing dams would only need to be adapted.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that hydrolectricity was already responsible for nearly 60 percent of the country's green energy capacity in 2010, and these projects would only add to that amount.

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