Just like space and dinosaurs, renewable energy and cartography are often at the forefront of young children’s minds. I’ve always thought my acquaintance with hydroelectricity began when I first played the original SimCity, but I recall having first played it in third grade - 1994 at the earliest. But since it’s almost entirely implausible that I would have any exposure to the concept of using dams to generate electricity sans SimCity, I think my timeline is somewhat out of order. Kind of like LOST, but with much lower stakes.
Curiouser still is the big “NO” circle right near Washington State, which is actually home to the largest hydroelectric power plant in the United States, the Grand Coulee Dam. This sentence here was going to contain some more facts about federally owned dams, but my searches were impeded by the magical link juice of Federal Dam, Minnesota, which is an actual town.
It’s hard to objectively test the veracity of my statement, however. Both Wikipedia and a random site I just found on Google, excellent sources for rigourous academic research, put the United States’ annual hydroelectric output at 80 gigawatts, enough to run 66 Deloreans. By the same token, while hydropower generated 40% of our electricity in the 1940s, it is only responsible for 7 or 8% of it today.
Look at the map, people. If we don’t increase our hydroelectric capacity, we’re risking the complete destruction of New England and southern Texas!