The Decline of Large Hydropower Facilities in the United States
The United States has seen a drastic decline in the building of large hydropower facilities over the past several decades. In the 1950’s, the country was constructing an average of about 8,000 megawatts of hydropower facilities each year (Kemper, 2020). However, by the early 2000’s, this average had dropped to only about 1,000 megawatts per year (Kemper, 2020). This decline is likely due to a combination of factors. First, the cost of hydropower projects is often very high. As the need for energy grows, alternative sources of energy such as wind and solar power have become increasingly attractive due to their lower cost (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2020). Additionally, the process of permitting and constructing large hydropower facilities has become increasingly difficult. This is due to the fact that they often require dams, which can have significant environmental impacts (U.S. Department of Energy, 2020). Furthermore, the development of hydropower facilities is often opposed by local communities due to the potential disruption it can cause to local waterways and habitats (U.S. Department of Energy, 2020). Cont…
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