The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Investing Hydroelectric Energy
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.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.
The following are some of the advantages of investing in the hydroelectric energy. To begin with,water which is the basic component of hydropower generation is free and readily available unlike fossil fuels which are expensive and difficult to get. 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%.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.The fourth advantage of investing in the hydroelectric energy is that the process is renewable because when water which is used to run turbines evaporates,it falls back naturally as rain. 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 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 advantage of investing in the hydroelectric energy is that it offers a basis for development of recreational facilities such as fishing, water sports and camping for holidaymakers.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.First,the process of hydroelectric power generation has the potential to destroy 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 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.