The Outlook for the Hydro Business

by Leslie Eden, Hydro Review Magazine, Kansas City, MO, USA,
Gary Burch, Hydro Review Magazine, Kansas City, MO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Power '87


Hydropower business activity has grown in the eight years since the WATERPOWER conferences began in 1979. During this time, however, small hydro has faced many ups and downs. Relicensing has thrown owners into a new and uncertain arena. And larger, older projects are under continual pressure to demonstrate improved performance. The industry is poised between pessimism and optimism. Questions linger: What is a realistic view; where are the business opportunities; and where are they likely to be in the next few years? This paper will provide some answers. We will examine the various segments of the North American hydroelectric industry that include: Federal power production (Tennessee Valley Authority, Bureau of Reclamation, Corps of Engineers, and the Alaska Power Administration); Private Utilities; Nonfederal public agencies; Private nonutilities (small hydro); Canadian utilities; and Canadian nonutilities (small hydro). These market segments have different generating objectives, economics, and directives that make it impossible to examine them as a whole. But a review of each segment provides a useful picture of the evolving and diminishing opportunities in this industry.

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Utilities | Economic factors | Electric power | Power plants | Industries | Federal government | Private sector

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