Although the renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind fast catching up still hydropower is the largest share of global electricity. In general, in the 20th century, hydropower was so large that it was called white coal for its power and plenty.
Hydropower was the most straightforward and first electricity generation technology.
Hydro Power-source of Electricity:
While harnessing energy from flowing water is termed as hydropower these days. The water used to produce electricity flows from a higher elevation to lower elevation. The hydropower plant is usually nearby that utilizes turbines and generators to convert this energy into electricity.
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Hydropower plants are further classified as a renewable source of energy. Why? Just because of the water. You see water vapours vaporize into clouds and can be utilized to generate electricity over and over again.
Producing Energy Through Hydropower:
Hydropower does not emit any greenhouse gases. It has been in headlines today because most of the companies see the potential that comes with the use of water to produce power.
Here are some pros and cons of hydropower that you must consider how it can impact the world. In this article, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of hydropower.
Pros of Hydropower:
- Hydropower a renewable source of energy
- A clean source of energy
- Cost competitive as compared to other energy sources
- Vehicle for sustainable development
- Can be used for recreational opportunities
- Contributes towards the development of communities
Let’s now discuss the pros of hydropower in detail as it is one of the emerging energy technologies.
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Vehicle for Sustainable Development:
Energy technologies run and instituted in environmentally sensible and socially responsible models symbolize the concepts of sustainable development. It addresses individual needs without affecting the capability of the coming generations.
Moreover, it also tackles the needs of people being a clean source of electricity.
Cost Competitive Source of Energy:
As upfront costs can be high still hydropower is a cost-competitive source of energy. Hydroelectric power plants have an average life span of about 50-100 years.
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Moreover, it has strategic investments that can support future generations. They can also be upgraded to modern-day technological requirements having low maintenance and operating costs.
Contributes Towards the Development of Communities:
Hydropower plants supply electricity to cities remotely attracting construction of highways, commerce, and industry. All these activities help to upgrade the economy of these remote areas.
It also increases access to better education; enhance the healthcare and overall life quality of residents. This technology has been quantified over the last few decades. However, it is almost available wherever development is needed.
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A Clean Source of Energy:
Hydropower is one of the fresh and green alternative energy sources out there in the world. The energy produced by hydropower plants does not provide any toxic or green gases that severely affect the atmosphere.
But they emit few green gases which help to mitigate the climate change, smog and acid rains. It also improves the air quality in which we breathe. On top of all, it does not generate any toxic byproducts.
Can Be Used for Recreational Opportunities:
The lake that forms behind the dam such as swimming, boating, and fishing can be used for recreational opportunities. The water of the lake can be used for irrigation purposes.
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Apart from this, dams also become a spot of tourist attractions. Hydropower plants can store large reservoirs of water. This capacity to store water is beneficial as it shields water tables from exhaustion and minimizes our susceptibility to floods and droughts.
Hydropower a Renewable Source of Energy:
Hydropower is renewable because it utilizes the earth’s water to produce electricity. Lakes and rivers are typically leveraged to generate hydroelectric power that will never disappear.
There are few suitable repositories where hydropower plants could be built, and fewer places such as undertakings are beneficial.
Cons of Hydropower:
Now switch towards the cons of hydropower.
Damage to the Environment:
Natural results of hydropower are identified with intercessions in nature because of damaging water and the development of streets and power lines. Hydropower plants may influence fish and the way they move and migrate. With identified abuse of fish species, this is a field about which several people have strong feelings.
Leads to Droughts:
One of the main cons to setting up hydropower plants is the risk of local droughts. The overall energy costs and power are dependent upon the accessibility of water. It can be significantly impacted by dry spells leading to individuals.
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Risk of Floods:
Communities living downstream are vulnerable to flooding allowing reliable water to be released from the dams. In the long run, the livelihood of people residing in those areas might be destroyed.
Emission of Carbon Dioxide and Methane:
Reservoirs of hydropower emit large quantities of carbon dioxide and methane. These areas near the dam are full of water and water beneath the surface begins to rot and decompose.
This sort of decomposition without oxygen involvement gives a vast amount of methane and carbon dioxide. It also leads to an increase in pollution levels.
May Create Conflicts:
Counties that harbour rich sources hydropower typically build dams across the river to harness the water. It results in the interruption of natural water flowing from one specific direction to another. It also caters to the need to build dams in those locations. However, scarcity of water hit a particular area and trigger off conflicts.
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While in some cases, hydropower can disrupt wildlife. It can also cause changes in reservoirs and water quality of the stream. On the other hand, running a hydropower plant may change the water temperature and flow of the river. These changes harm the native plants and animals in the land and also on the river.
These are the highlighted pros and cons of hydropower. The study outlines opportunities to produce negative environmental impacts of hydropower. Scientists recommend the strategic planning and mitigation process to temper dams’ impacts mostly on surrounding communities.
Shortly, hydroelectric trends lead to building small hydroelectric plants that produce electricity for remote communities. While looking to construct a dam, we need to weigh the pros and cons of hydropower. Right action is required to analyze the local statistics to bring innovative structures.