When water is allowed to flow over running turbines there is the generation of electrical energy which is referred to as the hydroelectric energy. Hydroelectric power generation is the first renewable source of energy at a large-scale level in the U.S and it accounted to more than thirty-per cent of the country’s energy requirements way back in the 1940s.Today the hydropower contributes around 6% of the power needs of the United States because of the increased investment in other energy sources.
Hydroelectric energy generation comes with both advantages and disadvantages and it is important that these environmental and economic implications be understood well before making a decision on whether or not to invest in the hydropower generation.
Explained below are some of the pros of making investments on the hydroelectric power generation. 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 advantage of investing in the hydroelectric energy is because it has a high energy conversion efficiency of approximately 90% of the captured energy.Thirdly the hydroelectric energy investment is good because the power generation has no water,land or air pollution as compared to other sources of energy that causes pollution and increase 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. The fifth advantage of investing in hydroelectric energy is that it greatly make the quality of the environment to be better through creation of farm irrigation opportunities and huge habitats for aquatic life such as fish.The sixth good side of making investments on hydroelectric energy is the ability to continuously meet new demands through putting up additional power plants in the already existing hydropower 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.As compared to other sources of energy such as natural gas or coal,hydroelectric energy is more cost-effective.
The cons of hydropower generation are highlighted below.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.