SUGAR LAND, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 07/16/12 -- Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- The North American Power Generation Industry is experiencing rapid changes. The premature retirement of several U.S. coal-fired power units, the current low price of natural gas, and the lengthy permitting process and high costs of constructing nuclear power facilities are causing energy providers to rethink their investment opportunities.
Along with these changes is the increased need for renewable power generation. The U.S. obtains about 8% of its overall electricity from hydroelectric power, making it the largest renewable power source in the U.S., according to Brock Ramey, Industrial Info's manager for North American Power Industry Research.
This share could grow in the future. Ramey points out that wind power can be an unreliable form of energy and that solar energy is only generated when the sun is shining. 'With the reduction in coal generation ... we have to have a renewable energy that can sustain our requirements day and night, and hydro seems to be that niche,' said Ramey.
Industrial Info is tracking 481 active hydro projects across North America with a total investment value of $132 billion. These projects include new-build, unit expansions, and maintenance projects. The majority of these projects are in a planning stage, but more than $11 billion of hydro projects are under construction. Obtaining permitting for hydro projects has become easier in the past five years, and pending legislation in Congress could help streamline the process even more.
In this edition of 'Navigating the Currents of Change,' Ramey discusses the current North American hydropower landscape and what we can expect in the future.
Make sure to visit Industrial Info at Booth #1209 at the HydroVision International conference and exhibition, July 17-20, in Louisville, Kentucky!
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