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Transcript of Hydropower
What is hydropower?
AKA: water power
It is generated by using kinetic energy of moving water (rivers, rapids, waterfalls, etc.)
In ancient times, it was used to power water wheels which powered machines that would grind wheat.
Modern hydropowered mechanisms are dams, which control the water flow and use its momentum to power electric power plants. The water goes through the dam and spins turbines. These turbines spin a generator and creates electricity. The amount of electricity depends on the amount of force the water pushes the turbines, and how many turbines are spun.
This electricity can be used for all purposes such as powering nearby homes, street lamps, and businesses.
Where is it found?
Hydroelectric power provides about a fifth of the worlds electricity.
In the United states it can be found in dams such as the one in Niagara Falls and the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in northern Washington. The Grand Coulee produces 70% of Washington’s electricity.
It is most abundant in China, where they have the largest dam, the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River.
Supplies will last as long as there is running water to power it.
It is acquired through building a dam on a body of water.
How common is this resource?
•Hydropower is the most common renewable electricity in the US
•In 2005 even with the expansion of other renewable electricity sources (wind, biomass, and solar) hydropower still comprised 73 percent of the nation’s renewably generated electricity.
•Large scale hydroelectric power generation is however concentrated in certain areas such as the Pacific Northwest.
•Electricity can be produced at constant rate once a dam is constructed.
•When electricity is not needed, water can be saved for use another time when electricity is needed.
•Hydro Plants has a very long life of around 50- 100 years which is much longer than that of even Nuclear Power Plants. Many dams are designed to last decades hence generating electricity for decades
•Dams usually form bodies of water such as lakes that can be used for human activities such as sports, tourism and irrigation
•Electricity produced by dam systems do not produce greenhouse gases hence, no pollution is contributed to the atmosphere.
Fun Facts and Examples
Is it renewable?
It is available as long as we have a source of running rivers, or any body of water in which the water is in motion.
How does it work?
Niagara Falls Dam
Grand Coulee Dam
Three Gorges Dam
•Hydro energy requires no fuel cost,This is a huge advantage over the increasing cost rate of fossil fuels.
•There is low cost and maintenance for hydroplants.Plants are usually automated.
•Electricity produced from Hydro Power is low making hydro plants more awesome to have.The pay back isn’t as long as other renewable resources.Pay back is estiamated between 5-8 years for a normal hydro plant.
•Energy storage is cheap and possible for hydroplants.
•Size doesn’t matter when it comes to hydroelectricity .Electricity can be produced from almost any size from 1 MW ti 10000 MW.This means that smaller hydroplants like micro hydro plants can be used.The smaller it is the less ecological affect is has on the environment.
•It is more reliable than wind and solar.It is more predictable than renewable energy.
•Hydroelectricity on the other hand has a load factor of almost 40-60% .
•Dams are esoensive to build ,meaning that it must operate for a long time (10-15 years) for it to be profitable.
•In some countries people are moved for hydro plants.They are also effected by increasing flooding in the villages and towns.Many also loose their farms because of this.
•Large dams can cause geological damage.Such as the building of the Hoover Dam in the USA triggered a number of earth quakes and has depressed the earth’s surface at its location.
•Dams can lead to serious problems between neighbouring countries. Dams built blocking the progress of a river in one country usually means that the water supply from the same river in the following country is out of their control. I’ll explain this outloud.
•leads to massive Tribal Displacement,Loss of Livelihood and Religious Infringement as potentially sacred Land is occupied by the Government.
•Wildlife and water creatures Fishes get Affected by dam contruction and ecological destruction
•Large Dam Construction has been linked to increased propensity of Earthquakes
•Failure to construct a good dam can lead to the largest man-made disasters in history.
•Need to be built in a specific place
Efficiency compared to other methods
Modern hydropower plants can convert up to 90% of the available energy into electricity. The best fossil fuel plants are only about 50% efficient.
In the US , hydropower is produced for an average of 0.7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This is about one-third the cost of using fossil fuel or nuclear and one-sixth the cost of using natural gas.
Efficiency could be further increased by refurbishing hydroelectric equipment. An improvement of only 1% would supply electricity to an additional 300,000 households.
Hydropower has become the leading source of renewable energy. It provides more than 97% of all electricity generated by renewable sources worldwide. Other sources including solar, geothermal, wind, and biomass account for less than 3% of renewable electricity production.
In the US , 81% of the electricity produced by renewable sources comes from hydropower. Worldwide, about 20% of all electricity is generated by hydropower.
75% of the electricity produced in New Zealand and over 99% of the electricity produced in Norway come from hydropower.
The use of hydropower prevents the burning of 22 billion gallons of oil or 120 million tons of coal each year. The carbon emissions avoided by the nation's hydroelectric industry equal an additional 67 million passenger cars on the road 50 percent more than there are currently.
Hydropower accounts for 70% of the produced electricity in the northwestern United States.
Hydropower is the main energy source for over 30 countries.
•Nova Scotia operates about 40 small hydro plants supplying about 11% of provincial capacity. New Brunswick also operates about 40 small hydro plants, which contribute about 20%.