At first glance, America’s hydropower generators may appear peripheral to the country’s grid, but according to Michael Ferguson, S&P Global Ratings’ Head of US Energy Infrastructure, there is more than meets the eye.
Writing for Business Green, Ferguson argues that although new plants are all but prohibited, and many assets are fast approaching their useful lifespan, hydropower assets’ boast numerous advantages – including low variable cost structures and a commissioned life that surpasses other energy sources.
Given these benefits, hydropower assets are undergoing a financing renaissance – with capital spending reaching US$6 billion between 2005 and 2013 – which has, in turn, upgraded hydropower’s generation capacity by approximately 1.5 gigawatts (GW).
Ferguson writes: “The hydropower financing renaissance for the existing allotment may be here to stay during the next decade – and the resultant upgrades will only further secure hydropower’s role in America’s energy agenda. So, although its assets are not the largest portion of the generating grid, it appears hydropower’s vital role continues to be noticed by US infrastructure investors.”
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