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US Government Signs Memorandum to Give a Boost to Hydropower

Posted By Brit Liggett On March 26, 2010 @ 11:02 am In Environment,News,Policy,Renewable Energy,Water Issues | No Comments

hydropower, ken salazar, steven chu, obama administration, government, environmental politics, politics, dam, tidal energy, water energy [1]

The U.S. Department of Energy [2], the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed a memorandum of understanding [3] this week stating that they would work together to promote hydropower [4]. The moving water [5] on this Earth [6] can be a huge source of energy [7] — from the tides to the raging rivers there’s a lot to tap into. However, it can also be hugely destructive [8] to the surrounding environment. Though it’s not our favorite source of green energy [7]solar [9] and wind [10] are much less invasive — we still welcome the detour from carbon based energy [11].

hydropower, ken salazar, steven chu, obama administration, government, environmental politics, politics, dam, tidal energy, water energy [12]

Though the positives of hydropower [13] are huge — it’s abundant, it is measurably frequent, it’s carbon free — the negatives are just as immense. The creation of new hydropower structures [14] is incredibly destructive to the environment. Water is re-routed and the surrounding ecosystem never returns to it’s previous state — even floating tidal turbines [15] can be invasive. For this reason many environmentalists have been strongly opposed to traditional hydropower methods in favor of wind [16] and solar power [17]. Though we worry about this issue we’re somewhat comforted by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu’s sensitivity to the subject.

Salazar noted upon the announcement of the memorandum, “as we build our clean energy economy [18] here at home, we must explore and develop new technologies and new strategies for increasing hydropower generation in an environmentally sustainable manner.” Chu added, “Current U.S. hydropower generation avoids 225 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Installing highly efficient turbines…putting turbines on existing non-powered dams, and building other low-impact projects [19] will increase that number, while reducing our overall footprint and enhancing environmental performance.”

hydropower, ken salazar, steven chu, obama administration, government, environmental politics, politics, dam, tidal energy, water energy [20]

The memorandum didn’t state any specific goals, initiatives or plans [21]. It was simply a pact signed by the three groups that stated they would assist each other in promoting hydropower sources across the United States [22]. With a lot of the money from the recovery act [23] going into renewable energy [18] we’re wondering if this is going to pave the way for a hydropower initiative. But for now it’s simply a signed statement saying that the government would work to simplify the process of installing new hydropower projects therefore expediting the process of bringing projects to fruition [24].

+ Department of the Interior [25]

+ Department of Energy [26]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/us-government-signs-memorandum-to-give-a-boost-to-hydropower/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/26/us-government-signs-memorandum-to-give-a-boost-to-hydropower/hoover-dam-ariel/

[2] U.S. Department of Energy: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/10/the-ins-and-outs-of-the-upcoming-energy-and-climate-bill-and-why-its-stalled/

[3] understanding: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/02/24/vermont-yankee-nuclear-reactor-set-to-shut-down/

[4] promote hydropower: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/10/07/energy-harvesting-turbines-for-nyc-get-a-style-update/

[5] moving water: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/19/solar-city-tower-for-rio-olympics-giant-energy-generating-waterfall/

[6] this Earth: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/25/turn-off-your-lights-for-earth-hour-this-weekend/

[7] energy: http://www.inhabitat.com/energy/

[8] hugely destructive: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/12/09/self-destructing-bacteria-could-be-the-key-to-better-biofuels/

[9] solar: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/23/chevron-embraces-solar-technology-with-project-brightfield/

[10] wind: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/25/michael-jantzen-unveils-a-wind-powered-eco-wine-pavilion/

[11] carbon based energy: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/12/white-house-finalizes-first-ever-national-law-to-limit-car-emissions/

[12] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/26/us-government-signs-memorandum-to-give-a-boost-to-hydropower/dam-construction/

[13] hydropower: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/07/14/new-design-uses-waves-to-power-nyc%E2%80%99s-streetlamps/

[14] hydropower structures: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/10/27/seashelter-submersible-shelter-rides-the-tides/

[15] floating tidal turbines: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/02/23/oregon-wave-power/

[16] wind: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/02/10/largest-green-energy-plant-in-the-world-planned-for-india/

[17] solar power: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/18/cobra-energy-plans-massive-1-billion-solar-thermal-plant-for-australia/

[18] clean energy economy: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/02/22/obama-sets-aside-3-4-billion-stimulus-to-jump-start-power-grid-2-0-in-us/

[19] low-impact projects: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/11/30/waterpleinen-rain-reserviors-a-dynamic-public-spaces/

[20] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/26/us-government-signs-memorandum-to-give-a-boost-to-hydropower/hydropower-turbine/

[21] goals, initiatives or plans: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/11/colorado-to-be-2-in-renewable-energy-standards-by-2020/

[22] United States: http://www.inhabitat.com/policy/

[23] money from the recovery act: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/02/obama-to-announce-cash-for-caulkers-program-today/

[24] bringing projects to fruition: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/25/londons-first-breeam-outstanding-office-tower/

[25] + Department of the Interior: http://www.doi.gov/

[26] + Department of Energy: http://www.energy.gov/

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