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ATB data for hydropower are shown above. These projections are based on projections developed for the Hydropower Vision study (DOE, 2016) using technological learning assumptions and bottom-up analysis of process and/or technology improvements to provide a range of future cost outcomes. The projections use a mix of EIA technological learning assumptions, input from a technical team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers, and the experience of expert hydropower consultants. Cost projections are derived independently for non-powered dam (NPD) and new stream-reach development (NSD) technologies.

The three scenarios for technology innovation are:

  • Conservative Technology Innovation Scenario (Conservative Scenario): no change in CAPEX, OPEX and capacity factor from 2018 to 2050
  • Moderate Technology Innovation Scenario (Moderate Scenario): incremental technology learning, consistent with the Reference case in the Hydropower Vision study (DOE, 2016); CAPEX reductions for NSD only
  • Advanced Technology Innovation Scenario (Advanced Scenario): gains from pushing to the limits of potential new technologies, such as modularity (in both civil structures and power train design), advanced manufacturing techniques, and materials, consistent with Advanced Technology in Hydropower Vision (DOE, 2016); both CAPEX and O&M cost reductions implemented.


The following references are specific to this page; for all references in this ATB, see References.

DOE (2016). Hydropower Vision: A New Chapter for America's Renewable Electricity Source. (No. DOE/GO-102016-4869). U.S. Department of Energy.

Developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.