Renewable Energy Through Hydropower

Hydropower is energy that comes from water and it can be applied in different means. It has a lot of potentials and these potentials as well as the drawbacks of its application are considered here.

Hydropower makes up at least 10% of the electricity in the United States. It makes use of flowing water in order to spin turbines and produce electricity. The example of a massive energy-producing hydropower project that most everyone is familiar with is Hoover Dam in Nevada.

Hydropower is one of the renewable energy sources that is constantly being researched and implemented in order to replace fossil fuels. These fossil fuels are in the process of depletion. It doesn’t produce carbon dioxide as you have with coal power stations. This makes it a whole lot cheaper and makes it a cheaper way to produce electricity. It is also renewable as rainwater replenishes it quite easily.

One of the most common types of hydropower facilities is the impoundment facility. A dam is built on a large river or lake in order to store its water in a reservoir. When the water is released from a reservoir it flows through tunnels and through a turbine. Since the height of the water behind these walls is very great the released water passes through the turbine with immense forces on energy. This force in turn produces electricity. Water may then travel back into the stream or river, networks of transmission lines and facilities also carry the electricity from a generator to users in a form they can use.

hoover dam nevada

One dam that is an illustration of these processes is the Hoover Dam. When it was first created it produced enough electricity for the whole of Las Vegas. As Las Vegas grew in size, people sought out other energy sources for power.

The pumped storage hydro plan facility is able to store power. It easily achieves this by pumping up water from a lower reservoir to a high one during periods that low energy is required. When the needs of people increase water gets released from the upper reservoir back to the lower reservoir in other to generate electricity.

Hydroelectric plants need a lot of land in other to build a dam as well as a reservoir. These all take a lot of money, time and construction too. There are not many places hydroelectric dams can be built and most of the space has already been taken. The great thing is that once they are constructed the electricity becomes free to produce. Due to the costs of construction, the tendency is usually to put up small hydro plants which are more economical.

Hydroelectric plants which are constructed with the use of dams tend to have adverse effects on the environment. With the construction of a dam you have a blockage of the flow from the upstream to the downstream. This blockage tends to disrupt the migration pattern of fish as well. Fish can also be killed as they pass through the turbines. The advantage that hydropower has is that it possesses the ability to control energy release in order to meet ever changing demands. Read more at this Las Vegas website.

The population is increasing steadily and so are the power needs of this population. Fossil fuels are constantly being used up and a certain time will come when these fuels have been completely depleted. We have to turn to renewable energy sources in order to meet our needs. Natural sources make for a natural solution.

Hydroelectric plants can meet your power needs without you having to worry about depletion or pollution. It is also the most reliable source of electric power currently available. Hydroelectric energy can work and solutions are currently being proposed and researched in order to counter the damage that hydroelectric dams can do.

More Vegas energy issues can be found in this article.