The National Hydropower Association (NHA) has welcomed US Government's recognition of the importance of pumped storage (PS) to the wider development of grid-connected renewable energy resources, and its support for hydroelectric generation in the economic stimulus package approved by Congress.
nha said that expanding PS capacity beyond the country’s existing resources for storing energy, dominated by 20.3GW of PS, was a high priority. The resource offers major benefits in fast-response stabilization to the electricity transmission grids to help balance the fluctuating inputs of resources like wind power.
It called for the Government to build on recognition of the importance of PS, as voiced by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, by establishing policies that encourage aggressive investment i projects using the proven, established technology.
The Association has established a PS council to help develop strategies to speed development of projects. In a statement it said:”‘We are reaching out to all sectors of the energy industry, to the Administration, and to Congress to expand understanding of this technology and create sound policies that will serve all Americans.”
nha added that a key goal is to help establish incentives, such as tax credits, that will attract investors and encourage rapid development of more PS projects.
Praise was also given for the inclusion of hydro in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act approved by Congress. The “Stimulus” package provides for financial support to incremental hydro power, generation at non-powered dams, and the development of ocean, tidal and instream hydrokinetic technologies.
The tax provisions for investors provide incentives to support the growth of the renewables resources, it added. NHA noted that earlier Government measures, such as production tax credits, led to a rapid increase in development by 25%-50%.
In a statement, the Association added: “We applaud the way the Act targets activities that will stimulate growth today, while also preparing for the future. The tax policies and incentives in the Act provide stability over time for our industry, which will help maintain a strong growth curve and encourage investors to launch projects that have a long lead-time.”
nha continued: “Funding for federal research projects, public-private partnerships, and improvements to US Army Corps of Engineers’ hydro facilities will offer a two-fold benefit, as well. We will be able to create jobs and economic activity within the hydro industry today, while laying a course that will lead us to new technologies, new investment, and more growth in the future.”