Uses of Hydropower
Hydropower is a power produced by flowing water or falling water. A lot of countries has been using this type of renewable energy since ancient times. We use hydropower in water mills, irrigation and different kinds of mechanical devices; wheat mills, sawmills, weaving mills, harbor cranes, ore shredders, large powerful hammers, elevators, industrial rollers, and drums.
From the 19th century, scientists have regarded hydropower as a source for producing electricity. In 1878, the Cragside house in Northumberland became the first hydro-powered house, and the first commercial hydroelectric power plant was Niagara Falls in 1879. In 1881, the street lights of Niagara Falls used hydroelectricity as energy. International institutions such as; The World Bank saw hydraulic power as economic development without releasing a large amount of carbon in the atmosphere, but dams had negative social and environmental impacts.
We use hydroelectric power most commonly in a dam on a river to lay water in a reservoir. Water let off from the reservoir flows through a turbine, turning it, which in turn operates a generator to generate electricity. Furthermore, hydroelectric power doesn’t always require a large dam, which means we can even use small dams to produce hydropower.
Hydropower energy generates clean electricity because it is renewable energy. The chief ingredients of hydropower to generate electricity is water. Also, hydropower energy does not contaminate water, which is why we call it green energy.
As for the usage distributions among countries, according to Energy Information Administration, China is the leader or hydropower energy production, pursued by Canada, Brazil, India, Russia, and the United States. As for the hydropower built capacity by region, Asia, East Asia, and Europe are the leaders. Moreover, in today’s world, the United States alone produce more hydropower energy than any other renewable energy sources. Also, hydropower is the most widely-used renewable energy source today, which makes hydropower energy the most important one for producing green energy.
People mainly use hydropower energy for producing electricity. One of the most notable advantages of hydropower energy is being clean energy. Dams, rivers, and turbines are the fundamental components of generating hydroelectricity.
Flood risk management is another use and the main advantage of using hydropower. In the United States, there are 94 million acres of land that comes up against floods. Hydropower plants play an important role in preventing floods and performing damage limitation.
In 2010, the University of Washington worked with the U.S. Army Corps, to update the flood risk management program at the Columbia River basin. This basin is the largest hydropower system in the United States. The fundamental part of flood risk management is cognizing the exact time to empty the basins, to prepare the lands for winter weather and knowing the exact time to refill the basins in the springtime, on the purpose of using that water in the next year.
Another major use and advantage of hydropower energy are, lastly, to supply water for agriculture. The United States utilizes hydropower energy by using irrigation canals. The water that comes from reservoirs is used for watering more than 60 million acres of agricultural lands, including crops, orchards, and vineries. Hydropower dams deflect stream for watering. In Colorado, three million acres of watering land use more than 12 trillion gallons of flowing water. Three million acres of watering soil needs more than 12 trillion gallons of water, the U.S. authorities provide this water thanks to the hydropower.