When water is allowed to flow over running turbines there is the generation of electrical energy which is referred to as the hydroelectric energy. Hydropower is one of the oldest large-scale renewable energy sources which contributed a third of all energy needs in the US in the 1940s.Since then the U.S has invested in alternative sources of energy which has made the hydropower to contribute to around 6% of the country’s energy demands.
The hydroelectric energy has its economic and environmental pros and cons and therefore it is crucial that these aspects are understood before investing in the energy source.
Investing in hydroelectric energy has the following advantages. The first advantage is that the resource to be used that is water is free and can be readily accessed as compared to fossil fuels which are hard to come by and expensive. The second reason why you should consider investing in hydroelectric power generation is because of its high efficiency in converting captured energy to electrical energy which stands at around 90%.The third advantage of investing in the hydroelectric power generation is because the process does not pollute the land,air and water unlike other energy sources whose generation causes environmental pollution and contributes to global warming.Fourthly,the water that is utilized to run turbines when it evaporates,it falls back as rain hence the hydroelectric energy is renewable. Fifthly,the hydroelectric power generation has proven to be highly useful in improving the environmental quality through the provision of high quality water that can be used to irrigate farms and the process also creates large habitats for fish and other aquatic life.The sixth advantage of investing in hydroelectric power generation is because of its capacity to keep up with demand by enabling the investor to set up more power plants in addition to the existing dams. The seventh advantage of investing in hydroelectric power generation is that the investor can also set up recreational facilities in addition to power generation which attracts holidaymakers for camping,water sports and fishing.As compared to other sources of energy such as natural gas or coal,hydroelectric energy is more cost-effective.
The following are the disadvantages of investing in hydroelectric power generation.To begin with,the hydropower generation contributes to the destruction of natural habitats. The second con is that the hydroelectric power generation have been known to emit some reasonable quantities of Carbon IV oxide and methane as a result of rotting of trees and plants without the use of oxygen in the the power plant. The other cons that limits the investment in hydroelectric power is the risk of flooding that it poses to people and structures around the dam,its dependence on heavy rain to get more water for maximum power generation and the high cost of installation.