Reports on new funding by the DOE and the Department of Interior for various advanced hydro projects, including sustainable run of the river hydro and pumped storage as well. The announced $17 million in funding over the next three years is targeted for research and development projects to advance hydropower technology.
This post takes a look at hydro power potential in the US, which is significant. For example, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has estimated that there is more than 12GW of untapped capacity at existing dams across the US; this is in part due to the fact that only 3% of existing dams generate electricity. Furthermore a 2006 DOE report noted that in every region realistic increases in generation capacity ranged from a minimum of 50% to well over 100%, which represents a lot of potential additional power. Large dams have serious environmental issues, disrupting Salmon runs for example, but a lot more power can be generated from existing dams and from less disruptive run of the river hydro.