Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act

H.R. 4045

The Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act would expand clean, renewable, and affordable hydropower, by focusing on innovation and licensing efficiencies. The act also seeks to improve coordination and decision making among relevant stakeholders.


The Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act would improve regulatory efficiency and encourage private investment into renewable hydropower energy. The act aims to designate hydropower as a renewable energy source for all federal programs and requirements, and would reform the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing and permitting framework. This legislation assists in addressing barriers to development and lingering hydropower supply chain issues from the COVID-19 pandemic.


In the U.S., hydropower makes up almost 30% of renewable energy generation. Building off of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act in 2013, the goal of this legislation is to double domestic hydropower production without the need for building new dams. This is a necessary step toward strengthening the energy grid, lowering energy costs, and reducing emissions.


The Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act focuses primarily on license and permitting reform, as well as attracting private investment toward the hydropower industry. Specifically, the bill:
  • Directs FERC to take action no later than two years after notification of application for next generation hydropower projects.
  • Fully exempts closed-loop hydropower projects not on federal land from FERC licensing requirements.
  • Directs FERC to submit a report outlining any barriers to development of emerging hydropower technologies.


Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)


ClearPath Action, Northwest River Partners, National Hydropower Association, Public Power Council, American Conservation Coalition Action, Chelan PUD, Washington PUD Association, Grant PUD, Douglas PUD, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, Northwest Public Power Association.


H.R. 4045


Printable summary of H.R. 4045