Hydropower is used to create hydroelectricity, the first simplest electricity generation technology. Hydropower refers to the use of falling or moving water to generate electricity. The constant movement of the water is used to move turbines which in turn rotate magnets inside a generator to generate electricity. One of the perks is that the water isn’t used up so it returns back to the dam after passing through the turbines.
That’s just one of the pros of hydropower/electricity, below are some more pros as well as cons.
Renewable & Clean Energy
The fact that the water used to generate electricity is returned back to the dam makes it a renewable energy source. In addition, water isn’t being made for hydropower plants, rivers and lakes are used. This means there is very little chance for it to get used up and scarcity is rare unless the earth undergoes a major drought. To prevent scarcity during a drought, hydropower plants have the potential to store large quantities of water. This also makes it easier on water tables and prevents exhaustion.
In addition to being a renewable, hydropower is also a clean energy source. The production of electricity does not produce any pollutants for the environments or the atmosphere. The only source of pollution happens during the building of the plant.
Hydropower is a stable source of electrical power. There are little fluctuations in the frequency of the power created. It works as a great supplemental energy to tackle peak demands and can also support a whole grid if needed. It works as a great base-load source of energy.
Due to a dam being created on the lake for hydropower, there are still portions of the lake behind the dam that can be used for boating, swimming or even fishing. Neighboring farms also benefit from the irrigation potential of the lakes.
Even though it isn’t a high maintenance power plant, building a hydropower plant is not cheap. It is very expensive to build and includes quite a few logistical challenges around the topography, building material choice and the initial foundation to be laid under water.
Even though it is a renewable and clean energy source, hydropower plants can cause environmental damage. Building the dam disrupts water flow and can disturb the river or lake’s ecosystem. The dam can cut off migration paths for fish for food and reproduction.