In an earlier paper (Kosnik, 2008), the potential for small scale hydropower to contribute to US renewable energy supplies, as well as reduce current carbon emissions, was investigated. It was discovered that thousands of viable sites capable of producing significant amounts of hydroelectric power were available throughout the United States. The primary objective of this paper is to determine the cost-effectiveness of developing these small scale hydropower sites. Just because a site has the necessary topographical features to allow small scale hydropower development, does not mean that it should be pursued from a cost-benefit perspective, even if it is a renewable energy resource with minimal effects on the environment. This analysis finds that while the average cost of developing small scale hydropower is relatively high, there still remain hundreds of sites on the low end of the cost scale that are cost-effective to develop right now.
The Potential for Small Scale Hydropower Development in the US
Kosnik, L. (2010). The Potential for Small Scale Hydropower Development in the US. Energy Policy, 38(10), 5512-5519.