When water is allowed to flow over running turbines there is the generation of electrical energy which is referred to as the hydroelectric energy. The use of hydroelectric power as a source of renewable energy dates back to the 1940s where the hydroelectric energy contributed a third of U.S energy needs.The exploration and investment in other energy sources has reduced the dependence of hydropower in the united states to around 6%.
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. First,it uses water a free and readily available resource and therefore there is virtually no cost to be incurred when getting the resource unlike the use of fossil fuels whose price is high and keep on fluctuating. Secondly the hydroelectric energy generation is highly efficient in conversion of energy where about 90% of the tapped energy is converted to electrical energy.The third attractive thing about hydroelectric power generation is that it has no water,air or land pollution which makes it better as compared to other forms of energy which contributes to global warming and causes other environmental pollution.Fourthly.the hydroelectric energy is renewable since water that is used to run turbines evaporates and rains naturally hence it is always available. 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 pro of investing in hydroelectric energy is that alongside power generation, you can set up recreational amenities for holidaymakers such as camping, water sports and fishing.The cost-effectiveness of hydroelectric power generation makes it more advantageous than alternative sources of energy like coal or natural gas.
The disadvantages of investing in hydroelectric energy has the following disadvantages.The first disadvantage is that hydroelectric power generation process can seriously lead to the destruction of natural habitats. Secondly,the process of hydropower generation can emit significant amount of methane and carbon IV oxide when trees and plants in the power plant rots in absence of oxygen. The other disadvantages of investing in hydroelectric energy are the facts that it relies on heavy rainfall to generate maximum power,it poses great danger to the neighbouring people and structures due to its flood riskiness and that the cost of installation is high.