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.The exploration and investment in other energy sources has reduced the dependence of hydropower in the united states to around 6%.
Before investing in the hydroelectric energy is important to look at its advantages and disadvantages which has environmental and economic implications.
Explained below are some of the pros of making investments on the hydroelectric power generation. 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. 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.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 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 reason for the investment on hydroelectric energy is the fact that the investor is able to keep up with demand by establishing new power plants on the existing power 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.To begin with,the hydropower generation contributes to the destruction of natural habitats. The second disadvantage to hydroelectric power generation is that there are some large amounts of methane and carbon IV oxide emission that occurs when the plants and trees rot without using oxygen around the dam. 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.