Hydroelectricity is the energy produced by the water power, utilizing gravity and also the buoyancy of the waterfall. It is one among the largely used form of renewable source of energy. Once built, a hydropower plant will produce energy without emitting any greenhouse gases when compared to that of fossil fuels. Hydropower has been utilized for centuries by humans. The electricity is usually created when the hydro or the water is passed over huge mechanical turbines, the pressure of water makes the turbines turn and the mechanical energy which is produced is then efficiently converted into electric power.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydroelectric Power
Hydroelectric power has both some advantages and also some disadvantages. Below listed are few of the vital advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectricity.
The major advantages of hydroelectricity includes the followings.
- Hydro electric power is environmental-friendly source of renewable energy in comparison to fossil fuels. It is also a clean and green energy source that does not pollute the environment with carbon dioxide emissions.
- Low maintenance and operational costs once dams are successfully built. Hydropower plants have a much higher economic lifetime. Hydro power plants require minimal staff to operate.
- Hydroelectricity is reliable and stable energy source. It is not intermittent energy source such as wind or solar and dams once completed can efficiently produce electricity at much stable rate.
- They offer high efficiency and once dams are built they are one among the efficient energy sources.
- Basins constructed for the creation of hydroelectricity can be utilized for various other activities such as irrigation, agriculture, water sports, aquaculture, fishing, swimming and much more.
- Energy obtained from this renewable source of energy can be considered as clean, green and regenerative.
- Hydroelectric dams can prevent floods efficiently by storing excess water, and these dams can also become great tourist attractions.
The disadvantages of hydroelectric power include the followings.
- Building huge hydro power plants requires large areas and the construction of such large plants can also lead to major environmental damage. If not constructed properly, large dams can disrupt the normal water flow and can also cause erosion, landslides, earthquakes and other geological damages.
- High upfront costs, especially when constructing large hydroelectricity plants. Although these plants last for over 50 to 100 years, they are very expensive build.
- Hydroelectric power plants often cause the disruption or displacement of the life of the residents living nearby the area.
- Water accumulation will often lead to chemical or thermal changes, in the reservoirs. Thus, the creation of such large dams can prevent the effective flow of slit, plankton and microorganisms downstream to the estuaries or beaches and this can lead to the destruction of sea life creatures in that area.
- The construction of dams along Side Rivers also destructs fish passages and can cause the destruction of fish and other marine life.
- There is also negative impact of droughts on hydroelectricity. In some cases, the drought may impact the water flow either to the dam or hydro power plant and can largely effect on the electricity production.
These are few of the major advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectricity. Hydro power is a renewable green source of energy that is widely utilized for generating electricity.