Rivers are now considered hydrokinetic resources and there is a theoretical resource estimate of 1,381 terawatt-hours per year based on a U.S. department of energy study.
This total number equals 25 % of the U.S. total energy consumption but when practically implemented would probably provide about 3 % of our generation needs.
The regions of the U.S. that show the most promise are the Lower Mississippi region which constitutes almost half (47.9%) of the technically recoverable resource estimate.
Alaska, offers about 17.1% of what would be energy generation capable of creating the same amount of electricity during both on-peak and off-peak time of day usag.
The Pacific Northwest region would account for 9.2%; and the Ohio region would offer 5.7% of the generation from rivers in the U.S.
No information was provided on how the sustainable energy generation via rivers would be done while at the same time protecting the ecosystems, fish, and water life. It can be assumed that harm to waterlife studies were done because of the reduction of the 25 % number down to 3 %.
In summary it would be great if we can harness the energy of rivers to provide the U.S. with cheap pollution free electricity and might be a better alternative to the sporadic off-peak electricity generation capabilities of wind power.
I must admit I am a bit skeptical that they can install power generation facilities in rivers and protect the wildlife at the same time but we can only hope and see just how well this idea pans out.