Faculty Sponsor

Elizabeth Gingerich


Business Administration



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-20-2021


In parts of the Western Us, wildfires are raging, drought is pervasive, and temperatures are higher than at any other recorded time. In contrast, parts of the South are experiencing unprecedented levels of precipitation. To combat the forces of anthropogenic climate change, transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is essential and realization of this imperative is becoming a more dominant focus of government policy (IRENA, 2018). Infrastructure bills calling for expenditures exceeding 3 trillion dollars are currently being crafted in Washington, DC, which included funding for the upgrading of the nation's electrical grid and expanded development of renewables (WhiteHouse.gov, 2021). Hydroelectric power has been a key part of the clean energy mix in the US and facilities have been generating electrical power for decades in both Southern and Western states. The majority of these facilities were originally developed under New Deal incentives in the 1930s and continue to be managed or regulated by the federal government (USBR.gov, TVA.com, 2021). With so much at stake in terms of planetary stability and sound spending, it is imperative to locate renewable energy facilities in regions conducive to climate realities in order to maximize efficiency. This paper advocates the concentration of hydroelectric facilities in wet regions (South-Southeast) and the closure of those rendered either inefficient or inoperable in areas marked by ongoing drought (West-Southwest).