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Hydropower is one of the oldest sources of energy for producing mechanical and electrical energy. Hydropower was used thousands of years ago to turn paddle wheels to help grind grain. Before steam power and electricity were available in the United States, grain and lumber mills were powered directly with hydropower. The first industrial use of hydropower to generate electricity in the United States occurred in 1880, when 16 brush-arc lamps were powered using a water turbine at the Wolverine Chair Factory in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The first U.S. hydroelectric power plant opened on the Fox River near Appleton, Wisconsin, on September 30, 1882. Most U.S. hydroelectricity is now produced at large dams on major rivers, and most of these hydroelectric dams were built before the mid-1970s.
View the chart below and you will see the dramatic drop in current usage
Why is this happening?
The increase in other alternative energy, not exactly. The truth is the U.S. in it'sinfinite wisdom decided that clean coal (no such thing) and increased U'S' drilling and fracking were a better choice (especially for Big Energy) definitely not for the environment.
We can provide 78% of our energy needs by utilizing hydropower, wind solar and geothermal power and say no to fossil fuels before they run out.
So here is another question? What is best for our environment?