Katie Coleman

Hydropower and Climate Change in Friday Fastbreak

From hydropower to the fossil fuel industry, catch up on the latest energy news in this week’s Friday Fastbreak.

U.S. Looks to Hydropower to Cut Dependency on Coal

A new study from the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that the country can reduce its reliance on coal and, thus, lower greenhouse gas emissions, by embracing hydropower. Untapped waterways around the country in non-protected areas could produce roughly 65 gigawatts of hydropower capacity annually. That would be enough electricity to power more than 45.5 million homes and would increase U.S. hydropower production to nearly twice its current amount.

High regulatory hurdles and lower water levels, however, make it highly unlikely this will happen. Just three years ago, hydropower potential from untapped sources could have powered nearly 60 million homes. What is more likely is that the U.S. will create a plan to start hydropower projects in states with high potential, including Colorado, Montana and Oregon. 

Fossil Fuel Industry Will See Revenues Drop in Coming Years

As clean power continues becoming a more lucrative option for organizations and individuals, companies are increasingly abandoning fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy sources.

It is predicted that fossil-fuel industry revenues will continue to dramatically decline by an estimated $28 trillion over the next two decades. As the world becomes more concerned with climate change and its impacts, it is more likely that people will embrace renewable energy as it becomes more affordable. However, until clean energy becomes less expensive, the fossil fuel industry is expected to continue to find success. 

Climate Change Already Having Global Impact

A new U.S. government report gives us one of the most comprehensive looks at climate changed we’ve seen in awhile. Put together by more than 300 experts, the report shows that scientists have become more confident that human activity – like the burning of fossil fuels – has driven much of the global warming in the past 50 years.

Discussions about climate change and its effects have increased in recent years as many individuals, companies and global leaders worry about what it may mean for the future of weather and the economy. However, its effects are already here.

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