Hydropower Facts and Uses
Hydroelectric power plants convert the power of water to electricity. The amount of energy in the flowing water determines the flow or the rate of flow of water. The river, or the water flow in the river, carries a great deal of power. On the other hand, when the water lowered from a very high point, energy is supplied at the same or even more.
In both ways, water taken into the ducts or pipes flows into the turbines, allowing the turbines with propellers to rotate to generate electricity. Turbines connect to generators, and energy generated by converting the mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Hydropower is one of the first energy types used since ancient Roman. Of course, the Romans did not use it to produce electricity but to grind their wheat to make flour. So, the explanation of the hydropower, in short, it is the kind of energy derived from the moving waters.
- Hydropower is clean. Every year, 22 billion gallons of oil or 120 million tons of coal is prevented from burning, thanks to Hydropower.
- Hydropower has no waste.
- Hydropower does not cause pollution.
Hydropower is a Renewable Energy Type
- Hydro energy is the most efficient of all renewable energy sources. While energy sources such as solar, geothermal, wind, and biomass provide only 3% of renewable electricity production, but this rate is 97% in hydropower.
- Water is a naturally renewable resource.
- Around 20% of all electricity is produced by hydroelectric power plants worldwide.
- The United States is the world’s second-largest hydropower producer. Canada is number one.
- Hydropower is ready to meet energy needs quickly in emergencies.
- Modern water turbines convert 90% of the available energy into electrical energy. So, hydroelectric power is the most efficient way to produce electricity, while the best fossil fuel plants are only about 50% efficient.
- Hydroelectricity has no fuel costs, so it is not affected by rising or variable fuel costs.
- After the initial installation costs, operation maintenance costs of hydroelectricity are low.
- They create employment opportunities,
- It is the most important renewable energy source in terms of revitalizing economic and social structure in rural areas.
Hydropower Energy Area of Usage
Hydro energy is usually used to generate electricity. One of the most important uses is to store energy. People used this form of power in the past to grind and turn wheat into flour, sawing wood and generate fire while producing steel.
Hydropower is one of the significant energy sources for the world. The fact that hydroelectricity is both cheap and does not harm the environment is the most valuable feature that distinguishes it from other energy sources. Scandinavian countries and South America meet almost all of their energy needs from hydroelectric power. Since it is the type of energy that has the least impact on global warming, it is a reliable option to use in countries with a high population.
Sometimes the electricity produced is not sufficient to meet the needs. In an emergency, the power stored in during periods of low usage is used to generate power at high usage times of electricity.
In ancient times they built water mills to get Hydropower. With the industrial revolution, water mills buried in history. But it is still used in some regions. Hydropower was used to grind wheat to make flour from it, sawing lumber and stone, convey water to irrigation canals.
In the previous industrial times, the Hydropower was used to the extraction of ores and generate fire while producing precious metals like steel.
The first U.S. hydroelectric power plant was built on the Fox River in 1882 in Appleton, Wisconsin. This plant-powered two paper mills and one home.