Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Enormous Energy with Hydropower

Most people around the world have recognized there is a crisis with energy resources. For that reason, many scientists and economists work on this problem to find some solutions. Fortunately, God is very generous with people because he gave us many different renewable resources such as water, solar and wind. In fact, the water's energy had found thousand years ago. What is hydropower energy? It is an energy that comes from the force of moving water. Therefore, when it rains in hills and mountains the water becomes streams and rivers that run down to the ocean. The moving or falling water can be used to do work. So, moving water, which has kinetic energy (the energy of motion), can be used to make electricity. In these days, almost all countries that have water resources have built some hydropower plants to convert water energy into electric energy for example the United States, Germany, China and Egypt. Furthermore, many poor country use this technology like Nepal, Pakistan and Colombia because it very useful and active technology to get energy with not much pay. Therefore, hydropower energy should be used if it is possible because there are many reasons like no fuel, no doubt and no waste.

The first recorded use of waterpower was a clock, built around 250 BC. Since that time, humans have used falling water to provide power for grain and saw mills. The first use of moving water to produce electricity was a waterwheel on the Fox River in Wisconsin in 1882. Hydropower continued to play a major role in the expansion of electrical service early around the world. Contemporary Hydroelectric power plants generate anywhere from a few kW, enough for a single residence, to thousands of MW, power enough to supply a large city. Moreover, the demand on electricity will increase day by day for many reasons. For example the population of world will increase; the technology will get better and better and many of low development countries will try to be high development. By these reasons, we can observe the demand for electricity will increase and we have to meet our needs without any interruption (“Facts about Hydropower”, 2004).

The most common type of hydroelectric power plant uses a dam on a river to store water in a reservoir (see figure # 1) because by using dams the amount of electricity will be high. The progress to produce electricity in dams start with water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which in turn activates a generator to produce electricity. However, hydroelectric power does not necessarily require a large dam. Some hydroelectric power plants use just a small canal to channel the river water through a turbine. Another type of hydroelectric power plant - called a pumped storage plant - can even store power. The power sends from a power grid into the electric generators. The generators then spin the turbines backward, which causes the turbines to pump water from a river or lower reservoir to an upper reservoir, where the power is stored. To use the power, the water is released from the upper reservoir back down into the river or lower reservoir. This spins the turbines forward, activating the generators to produce electricity. (“Renewable Energy Access”, 2007, para. 2-3).

Figure 1: Typical hydroelectric dam

Source: http://ga.water.usgs.gov

Actually, in these days hydropower is a big part of many people's life in many countries. So, there are some facts around the world that can be tell about some countries' experience with hydropower energy, also to show how much hydropower is active and useful. Around the world, about 20% of all electricity is generating by hydropower. The United States is the second largest producer of hydropower in the world. Hydropower provides about 10% of the electricity in the United States. Hydropower production in Wisconsin is about 2.1 billion-kilowatt hours (kwh) per year. Based on a home using 8,000 kwh of energy and 2.5 people per home, this is enough energy to supply the residential needs of 650,000 people. (“Facts about Hydropower”, 2004). By these facts, it is evidence that many people believe producing energy by using hydropower plants is the best way because they can meet with their needs easily.

First, hydropower plants just use water to generate electricity, so operate any hydropower plant cheap. That means there is no fuel requires supplying plant like oil. Therefore, people believe hydropower plant is a great energy producer because it could use fuel's money in other ways that can make profit. According to “Hydropower” (2006), “producing electricity from hydropower is cheap because, once a dam has been built and the equipment installed, the energy source -flowing water- is free” (p.26). This means, any hydropower plan will consume fuel from water free. Moreover, money that would have been used for fuel will be invested in a new commercial circulation like real estate or stock markets. This money will give profit to country. In addition, this advantage which is fuel free will give consumers a huge assist that is the price for electricity will be cheap because it does not cost much money to generate. That can make peoples' life more pleasure because they will save money and use it for their needs. Therefore, producing electricity by hydropower plant is great way to save money and give benefits to operators and consumers.

Second, people can be confidence with hydropower energy. It means there is no doubt with using hydropower energy because it depends on renewable energy resource that is water. With this advantage, people should feel relax because they will not miss their resource forever. According to “Hydropower” (2006), "the water on the earth is continuously replenished by precipitation. As long as the water cycle counties, we will not run out of this energy source". (para 3). It is amazing advantage. In these days, one of the big crisis is lacking in energy resources especially oil, so by using hydropower energy people will feel safe. That means people can confidant with hydropower energy. Therefore, hydropower energy is a great electricity supply without any doubt of the resource finishing.
Third, hydropower energy does not ruin environment. As mentioned, by using water as a provider to hydropower plants there are no burning gases. So, there is no waste from hydropower plants like CO2 or old oil. In other energy resources like oil or coal there will be gases as a result of using this kind of resources. In fact, waste will not go away from the Earth, it will return to the atmosphere. Besides, burned gases will increase global warming and ozone hole. Moreover, hydropower plants are clean because there is no spilled old oil or empty cans. Therefore, by using hydropower technology as much as we can we will protect the Earth from any threat like increasing temperature or change climate. Therefore, hydropower is the cleanest energy resource and can protect the environment.

Opponents of hydropower energy say that the initial price to build a hydropower plant or a dam costs a lot, so the investing in this kind of projects is not good way to gain money. In fact, they are not right because long-term is the way to evaluate the profit from these kinds of projects. For example, building a fossil fuel plant does not cost a lot of money, but to get the service you must pay for fuel every day. In addition, maintenance with generators of fossil fuel plants is higher than maintenance with same part in hydropower energy plants because of the type of fuel. That means using fossil fuel will effect on generators by causing layers of waste inside generators. So, operator of fossil fuel plants must deal with it carefully and pay more to maintenance. Besides, initial cost after a certain number of years the result will be amazing because hydropower plants will bring the initial price back plus profits. Therefore, the profit of hydropower plants is better than many other plants.

In conclusion, most people in different places believe in hydropower energy because it meets people‘s needs and it is mercy on environment. Hydropower will let people feel that they are in the safe side because they can save money and nothing will hurt their environment. In fact, many countries care when they want to establish a new plant to producing energy because they want to gain money also they want to protect environment. That means they will not choose easiest way or cheapest way, they will choose the best way according to their available resources. At all cost, most people believe hydropower energy is the best for people’s life and environment. As long as we use hydropower energy we are in safe side.

About hydropower. (n.d.). Retrieved February 08, 2007 from http://www.fwee.org
Electricity from: hydro. (2005). Retrieved February 08, 2007 from
Facts about hydropower. (September 07, 2004). Retrieved February 20, 2007 from
How hydropower works. (2006). Retrieved February 08, 2007 from
Hydroelectric power water use. (2006). Retrieved February 08, 2007 from
Hydropower. (2006). Secondary Energy Infobook. Retrieved February 21, 2007 from
Miller, T. (1994). Environment Problems and Solutions. Belmont, CA. Wadsworth
Publishing Company.


Post a Comment

<< Home