About the most ancient ways that man bears used green energy is by utilizing hydroelectricity. Evidence for the use of water as a power source goes back to almost ancient times. Actually over 2,000 years ago the Greeks were using water wheels to grind wheat into flour. It wasn’t until the middle of the 18th century when the modern water-powered turbine was developed.
Now with more stress being placed on green energy, many governments wish to alternative sources of energy. For quite some time electricity generated from hydro power had been a popular choice. Although, it’s not without its critics.
So what are the advantages and disadvantages of this ‘green energy’?
The hydroelectric power plants utilize kinetic and even potential energy of the water flowing in the river and also convert it into electricity. Around the world there are large numbers of hydroelectric power plants and even there are some countries in the world that rely heavily on the electricity produced from the hydroelectric power plants. Let us see what makes hydroelectric power plants as one of the best options after thermal power plants to produce electricity on large scale basis.
No fuel required: Considered one of the major advantages of the hydroelectric power plants is that they don’t call for fuel for producing power. The hydroelectric power plants apply renewable energy of water to generating electricity.
Yet another advantage of hydro-power is that the lake behind the dam may be used for leisure activities. For example, it’s possible to plan for hotels, water sports along with other form of recreations in and around the dam. Most people are often drawn to the dam as a tourist attraction in its own right.
For the working of hydroelectric power plant very few consumers are required since many of the operations are automated, thus operating costs of hydroelectric power plants are low. Further, as the hydroelectric power plants become older, the cost of generation of electricity as a result becomes more cost-effective since initial capital cost acquired the plant is recovered over the long period of operations.
A further advantage of hydro-power is that the lake behind the dam can be used for leisure activities. For example, it’s possible to plan for hotels, water sports and other form of recreations in and around the dam. Many people are often drawn to the dam as a tourist attraction in its own right.
Stopping the flow of a river and directing its flow through a turbine in a dam is, and in addition, very disruptive to the river’s natural function. Flooding dynamics are disrupted. Whereas humans may see this as a benefit, many rivers require periodic flooding for the ecological health of their surroundings, and many downstream ecosystems are actually damaged or destroyed by dams. The turbidity created by water released from the dam can consume riverbanks. Artificial lakes created by dams on the upstream side drown natural communities and create problems of siltation, and, particularly in tropical climates, the creation of standing water, from which disease can spread.
The most controversial aspect of building a dam is the impact the dam may have on the residents who live in the area of land to be flooded. This really is life-changing for the persons involved. Nevertheless, many governments offer financial rewards to offset the distress of the upheaval, despite the fact that this is not always the case.
In accordance with the website International Rivers, 60 million people around the globe have been displaced by hydroelectric projects. These individuals were living in areas that were flooded by enormous hydro dams, that can flood many mile after mile of river upstream. Many of the affected people are very poor and have nowhere else to go. Also, local customs and networks are disrupted or ruined when entire villages are submerged.
In some rare cases there have been reports of dams having a negative impact on the geology of the area. Through these cases, this seems to have caused more environmental issues than it solved. There were also cases of dams bursting. As an illustration in November 2015, two dams in Brazil burst. Leading to indescribable damage and misery to lives of people affected.
However these are just some of the disadvantages and advantages. In spite of this, as a source of green energy, that involves no pollution in its production, hydro power is obviously an advantageous source of renewable energy.