Is It a Lake, or a Battery? A New Kind of Hydropower Is Spreading Fast.
For a century, hydroelectric power has been synonymous with gigantic dams — feats of engineering that provide renewable energy but displace communities and destroy ecosystems.
New research released Tuesday by Global Energy Monitor reveals a transformation underway in hydroelectric projects — using the same gravitational qualities of water, but typically without building large, traditional dams like the Hoover in the American West or Three Gorges in China. Instead, a technology called pumped storage is rapidly expanding.