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Hydropower delays pose grid threat as permits lapse

Miranda Willson of E&E News reports on how permitting delays are hurting the hydropower industry

The C3 Take
  • Inefficient permitting and relicensing processes are a threat to the hydropower industry and could hamper clean energy production in the U.S.
  • California’s Oroville Dam, which is America’s largest and tallest, has yet to receive the new federal permit that it applied for in 2005.
  • While dams can be granted temporary licenses to remain in operation while the federal permitting process is underway, this system is costly and provides uncertainty to communities, businesses and grid operators.
  • Policymakers must reform the hydropower permitting process to reduce wait times and increase efficiency.

“While hydropower dams that exist today emit relatively few carbon emissions when operating, dam building in the 20th century disrupted ecosystems, flooded tribal lands and altered natural landscapes. Obtaining a new, long-term hydropower license, which lasts 30 to 50 years, from FERC is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to modify how projects operate.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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