Hydropower has been one of the world’s chief sources of low cost energy for many years. The primary sources of hydroelectricity are wind and sun-powered electricity production, with a further use of chemical energy like gasoline, coal or biomass. Although these power plants consume a lot of energy, in the long run, they provide much lower emissions than burning fossil fuels for electricity.
One of the major environmental impacts of hydroelectricity is climate change. Most of the power that is generated by dams is used to pump the water to the turbines where it is converted into electricity. This causes massive amounts of water to be dumped into the environment. This is leading to the depletion of the fresh water sources behind dams. Hydropower can be a promising solution to this problem, because it not only creates power without depleting the environment’s fresh water, but it also uses much less water.
In addition to the environmental impact of hydroelectric dams, hydropower has its own set of drawbacks. Among these is the effect on wildlife and the eco-system. Damming up rivers is known to negatively affect fish migration patterns, causing the death of many species. Rivers that are blocked by dams also become less efficient in transporting nutrients and waste water, reducing the eco-system’s ability to deal with pollution.
Practical Industrial Applications
Hydroelectric power harnessing water to generate energy has recently received attention as a way to reduce the negative environmental impacts of hydroelectric dams. The main advantage is that this method works well with tidal ranges, since tides are a regular occurrence in most coastal areas. A tidal dam works by redirecting the flow of a tidal stream to a turbine, which is usually located behind the dam. turbines used in this manner do not need the support of tidal waves; however, they do require a steady supply of water to be allowed to function.
For some applications, hydropower makes a lot of sense. For instance, a hydropower turbine could be installed at a marina close to a body of water. The turbine would generate power, which could then be employed by the marina. The advantages of this kind of application are that the turbine needs little maintenance, the energy produced is consistent, and the turbines are stationary. On the other hand, if a large body of water is not in close proximity to the turbine, the energy produced will be much smaller.
As mentioned above, hydropower has its advantages and disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage is that it is only a potentially viable energy source for hydropower dam projects in the Pacific Northwest and the northern Pacific Northwest. Scientists have identified numerous potential sites for hydropower development in the United States, such as the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. Hydropower development on these potential sites has been stymied by the lack of a steady and predictable river flow pattern. In addition, hydropower development in the northern United States has been hindered by problems associated with mountain ranges, tundra regions, and the inability of power companies to locate transmission lines over mountain ranges. Many scientists feel that hydropower should be considered in these cases, but the challenges remain significant.