The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced nearly $600m funding to advance the hydroelectric power and marine energy in the US, as part of the President’s ‘Investing in America’ initiative.

DOE will provide up to $554m in incentives, under the ‘Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives’ programme, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The funding will help generators to provide renewable electricity, while integrating additional renewable energy resources and reduce environmental impacts.

DOE is also providing additional $45m funding to support a pilot demonstration and community-led tidal energy project in the US, also funded by Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The funding commitments represent the DOE’s largest-ever investments in both hydropower and marine energy.

They will support the US government’s goal of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050, said DOE.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm said: “Water power, the nation’s oldest source of renewable energy, is an integral tool to fight against climate change.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda provides historic funding that will expand and modernise water power technologies, ensuring a steady flow of reliable power to more Americans.”

According to the DOE, hydropower currently constitutes 6% of all electricity, and 32% of renewable-electricity generation, and 93% of all utility-scale energy storage in the US.

The existing eligible hydroelectric facilities can apply for up to $553.6m through the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives Programme.

Administered by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office, the programme is designed to enhance existing hydropower and pumped storage facilities for capital improvements.

The eligible capital improvements, including improvements to integration of resources, dam safety, and environmental conditions, such as fish passage, water quality and recreation.

DOE said that marine energy technologies, including tidal and current technologies, will enhance the energy in the natural flow of oceans and rivers into clean electricity.

Its new $45m funding opportunity will make the first large-scale investment in a tidal or current energy research, development, and demonstration site in the US.

The funding will also support a community-led tidal or current energy planning and development project.

It will encourage tidal and current energy development in US, while also meeting community energy priorities and developing the sector’s supply chain and workforce, said DOE.