How does hydropower produce clean, renewable energy?
Hydropower is the original renewable resource for the Northwest. Dams store water from melting snow and rainfall in reservoirs. The weight of water stored behind the reservoirs creates water pressure. That pressure is put to work when the water pushes past turbines to generate electricity. This flowing water produces energy over and over as it moves downriver through multiple dams.
What does hydropower contribute to carbon emissions?
Northwest hydropower produces no carbon emissions, thereby significantly reducing the total carbon footprint of the region’s energy production. Currently, hydroelectric dams generate 80% of the Northwest’s carbon-free energy each year. With bold clean energy goals and the move towards electric vehicles, hydropower has become an even more important part of our future.
In addition to generating energy without carbon emissions, hydroelectric dams have made it possible to ship goods by barge along the Columbia and Snake rivers. The efficiency of barging is significantly greater than that of rail cars and semi-trucks, greatly reducing pollution in our region.