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 is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower;

the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of
falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy.
Once a hydroelectric complex is constructed, the project produces no direct
waste, and has a considerably lower output level of the greenhouse gas carbon
dioxide (CO2) than fossil fuel powered energy plants. Worldwide, an installed
capacity of 777 GW supplied 2998 TWh of hydroelectricity in 2006.This was
approximately 20% of the world's electricity , and accounted for about 88% of
electricity from renewable sources

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Energy is the most important thing in this world. All living plants, animals
(organisms) on this earth require energy to perform any type of work. The
capacity to do a work is energy. The energy may require in smaller amount or in
larger amount depending upon the nature of work to be performed.
The different things from which we get the energy are called as Energy Sources.
This is the simplest meaning of energy sources. There ar e two types of energy
1. Conventional OR Non-Renewable Energy Sources
2. Non-Conventional OR Renewable Energy Sources

1. Conventional OR Non-Renewable Energy Sources:

The energy sources, which we are using from long time and which are in danger
of exhausting, are called as Conventional OR Non -Renewable Energy Sources.
They are not renewed by Nature and they are perishable, are going to get
exhausted one day.
e. g. coal, petroleum products, nuclear fuels etc.

2. Non-Conventional OR Renewable Ener gy Sources:

These are the energy sources whose utilization technology is not yet fully
developed. These are the sources, which can be recovered and reused. i. e. they
can be used again and again to generate energy because of the renewal of their
We are going to consider one of the ways of generation of energy from non -
conventional energy namely hydroelectric energy. As name suggest, it is the
energy obtained from water.
The main principle used in this type is the kinetic energy of falling water is
converted into electric energy using turbines.

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The first recorded use of water power was a clock, built around 250 BC. Since
that time, humans have used falling water to provide power for grain and saw
mills, as well as a host of other applications. The first use of moving water to
produce electricity was a waterwheel on the Fox River in Wisconsin in 1882, two
years after Thomas Edison unveiled the incandescent light bulb. The first of
many hydro electric power plants at Niagara Falls was completed shortly
thereafter. Hydro power continued to play a maj or role in the expansion of
electrical service early in this century, both in North America and around the
world. Contemporary Hydro-electric power plants generate anywhere from a few
kW, enough for a single residence, to thousands of MW, power enough to s upply
a large city.
Early hydro-electric power plants were much more reliable and efficient than the
fossil fuel fired plants of the day. This resulted in a proliferation of small to
medium sized hydro-electric generating stations distributed wherever the re was
an adequate supply of moving water and a need for electricity. As electricity
demand soared in the middle years of this century, and the efficiency of coal and
oil fueled power plants increased, small hydro plants fell out of favor. Most new
hydro-electric development was focused on huge "mega -projects".
The majority of these power plants involved large dams which flooded vast areas
of land to provide water storage and therefore a constant supply of electricity. In
Recent years, the environmental i mpacts of such large hydro projects are being
identified as a cause for concern. It is becoming increasingly difficult for
developers to build new dams because of opposition from environmentalists and
people living on the land to be flooded. This is shown by the opposition to
projects such as Great Whale (James Bay II) in Quebec and the Gabickovo -
Nagymaros project on the Danube River in Czechoslovakia.
Hydropower generation is an improvarient of primitive water wheel for grinding
cereals. As hydro-electric power it emerged in USA in1882, followed by sweeden
and Japan. In India, hydropower plant OF 130kw installed capacity was
commissioned in 1897 at sidrapong at Dargiling in West Bengal and followed by
4.5MW plant at sivsamudram in Karnataka in 1902.during period between two
world wars, a number of hydro power plants such as 48MW, at
Jogindernagar(H.P.),17.4MW ganga power plant(U.P.), 38.75MWpykaraand
30MWmatter(Chnnai)were commissioned,from installed capacity of 1362MW,out
of which hydropower was 508 MW in 1947,the pace of growth has been rapid in
post independence era. The hydal install capacity by the end 2001 is 25,574MW,
out of total capacity of 102907MW.

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Electricity produced from generators driven by water turbines that convert the
energy in falling or fast-flowing water to mechanical energy. Water at a higher
elevation flows downward through large pipes or tunnels (penstocks). The falling
water rotates turbines, which drive the generators, which convert the turbines'
mechanical energy into electricity. The advantages of hydroelectric power over
such other sources as fossil fuels and nuclear fission are that it is continually
renewable and produces no pollution. Norway, Sweden, Canada, and Switzerland
rely heavily on hydroelectric ity because they have industrialized areas close to
mountainous regions with heavy rainfall.
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The U.S., Russia, China, India, and Brazil get a much smaller proportion of their
electric power from hydroelectric generation. See also tidal power.
Water is needed to run a hydroelectric generating unit. It¶s held in a reservoir or
lake behind the dam and the force of the water being released from the reservoir
through the dam spins the blades of a turbine. The turbine is connected to the
generator that produces electricity. After passing through the turbine, the water
reenters the river on the downstream side of the dam.
The capability to produce and deliver electricity for widespread consumption was
one of the most important factors in the surge of American econ omic influence
and wealth in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Hydroelectric
power, among the first and simplest of the technologies that generated
electricity, was initially developed using low dams of rock, timber, or granite
block construction to collect water from rainfall and surface runoff into a
reservoir. The water was funneled into a pipe (or pen -stock) and directed to a
waterwheel (or turbine) where the force of the falling water on the turbine
blades rotated the turbine and its m ain shaft. This shaft was connected to a
generator, and the rotating generator produced electricity. One gallon (about 3.8
liters) of water falling 100 feet (about 30 meters) each second produced slightly
more than 1,000 watts (or one kilowatt) of electricity, enough to power ten 100 -
watt light bulbs or a typical hairdryer.
There are now three types of hydroelectric installations: storage, run -of-river,
and pumped-storage facilities. Storage facilities use a dam to capture water in a
reservoir. This stored water is released from the reservoir through turbines at
the rate required to meet changing electricity needs or other needs such as flood
control, fish passage, irrigation, navigation, and recreation. Run -of-river facilities
use only the natural flow of the river to operate the turbine. If the conditions are
right, this type of project can be constructed without a dam or with a low
diversion structure to direct water from the stream channel into a penstock.
Pumped-storage facilities, an innovation of the 1 950s, have specially designed
turbines. These turbines have the ability to generate electricity the conventional
way when water is delivered through penstocks to the turbines from a reservoir.
They can also be reversed and used as pumps to lift water from the powerhouse
back up into the reservoir where the water is stored for later use. During the
daytime when electricity demand suddenly increases, the gates of the pumped -
storage facility are opened and stored water is released from the reservoir to
generate and quickly deliver electricity to meet the demand. At night when
electricity demand is lowest and there is excess electricity available from coal or
nuclear electricity generating facilities the turbines are reversed and pump water
back into the reservoir. Operating in this manner, a pumped -storage facility
improves the operating efficiency of all power plants within an electric system.
Hydroelectric developments provide unique benefits not available with other
electricity generating technologies. They d o not contribute to air pollution, acid
rain, or ozone depletion, and do not produce toxic wastes. As a part of normal
operations many hydroelectric facilities also provide flood control, water supply
for drinking and irrigation, and recreational opportuni ties such as fishing,
swimming, water-skiing, picnicking, camping, rafting, boating, and sightseeing.

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Installations (e.g. Dams) to a large extent. Manufacturers have Been quick

enough to develop package designs for small un its. These are also called as
Small Scale Hydroelectric Power Plants. These facilities can supply in principle
significant amounts of electricity for irrigation, or potable water pumping lighting
or health or educational purpose. The total potential amount of such a resources
is poorly documented but is apt to be large.
Up to 1972, hydro engineers concentrated on developing the larger sites, where
the economy of scale enabled the production of energy at a cost low enough to
compete thermal power etc. But the shortage of fuel, high cost of fuels needed
for many of the other plants made the engineers to pay attention to the
naturally occurring renewable sources which can be efficiently used as energy
sources. Moreover, the remarkable advancement in the technol ogy of
development of turbines suitable for utilizing small falls and small discharges
from RIVERS increased the chances of development of small hydral For many
small hydro plants of less than 500 kW capacity, electronic load controllers have
been developed to replace the governor. These controllers maintain a constant
load on the turbine and hence constant flow, surplus power is diverted to a
resistor and either wasted or used to heat water.
The advantage of Hydro Power Plants operation in hilly areas and remote areas
and the elimination of long transmission system, & lesser gestation periods have
lent added attraction. It has little or no adverse environmental impact, effects on
stream ecology.
In India, the potential of small hydropower is estimated to be 5000
MW at present, while further investigations and surveys are expected to indicate
a higher potential. Small Hydropower is covered in renewable programme. The
alternate hydro-energy center at Roorki works on the development of solar
hydropower system as well as Hybrid Hydro systems. If small hydropower
stations are set up all over the country, decentralized availability of power will
become possible.
Many countries now have active small hydro development and rural
electrification programmes, due to the several advantages offered by these
There is no formal definition of a small hydro plant but this may generally be
taken as power station or plant having output up to 5000 kW. Some associate
the concept of small hydro with low head say up to 1 5 m. This may not generally
be true as there is no restriction on head for these power plants. Stations up to
output 1000 kW are called micro and up to 5000 kW as mini power plants.
Conceptually these power plants can be categorized into two types:
1) One utilizing small discharges but having high head
2) One utilizing large discharges but having comparatively smaller head. Hydro -
electric power plants convert the kinetic energy contained in falling water into
electricity. The energy in flowing water is ul timately derived from the sun, and is
therefore constantly being renewed. Energy contained in sunlight evaporates
water from the oceans and deposits it on land in the form of rain. Differences in
land elevation result in rainfall runoff, and allow some of the original solar
energy to be captured as hydro -electric power.
Hydro power is currently the world's largest renewable source of electricity,
accounting for 6% of worldwide energy supply or about 15% of the world's
electricity. In Canada, hydroelectric p ower is abundant and supplies 60% of our
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electrical needs. Traditionally thought of as a cheap and clean source of
electricity, most large hydro-electric schemes being planned today are coming
up against a great deal of opposition from environmental groups and native

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Hydroelectric energy is produced by the force of falling water. The capacity to
produce this energy is dependent on both the available flow and the height from
which it falls. Building up behind a high da m, water accumulates potential
energy. This is transformed into mechanical energy when the water rushes down
the sluice and strikes the rotary blades of turbine. The turbine's rotation spins
electromagnets which generate current in stationary coils of wire . Finally, the
current is put through a transformer where the voltage is increased for long
distance transmission over power lines.
Hydro-electric power plants capture the energy released by water falling through
a vertical distance, and transform this ene rgy into useful electricity. In general,
falling water is channeled through a turbine which converts the water's energy
into mechanical power. The rotation of the water turbines is transferred to a
generator which produces electricity. The amount of electr icity which can be
generated at a hydro-electric plant is dependant upon two factors. These factors
are (1) the vertical distance through which the water falls, called the "head", and
(2) the flow rate, measured as volume per unit time. The electricity pro duced is
proportional to the product of the head and the rate of flow. The following is an
equation which may be used to roughly determine the amount of electricity
which can be generated by a potential hydro -electric power site:
POWER (kW) = 5.9 x FLOW x HEAD
In this equation, FLOW is measured in cubic meters per second and HEAD is
measured in meters.
Based on the facts presented above, hydroelectric power plants can generally be
divided into two categories. "High head" power plants are the most common and
generally utilize a dam to store water at an increased elevation. The use of a
dam to impound water also provides the capability of storing water during rainy
periods and releasing it during dry periods. This results in the consistent and
reliable production of
Electricity, able to meet demand. Heads for this type of power plant may be
greater than 1000 m. Most large hydroelectric facilities are of the high head
variety. High head plants with storage are very valuable to electric utilities
because they can be quickly adjusted to meet the electrical demand on a
distribution system.
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1) Depending upon Capacity to generate power:

Size unit size Installation

Micro upto 100 kW 100 kW

Mini 101 to 1000 kW 2000 kW

Small 1001 to 6000 kW 15000 kW

2) Depending on head:
Ultra low head: Below3 meters,
Low head : Less than 30 meters,
Medium head: Between 30 to 75 meters,
High head : Above 75 meters,

Selection of site for Hydro Power Plants:

1. Large quantity of water at a reasonable head should be available
2. The site should provide strong and high mountains on the two sides of the
river reservoir with minimum gap for economical dam construction.
3. The rainfall should be sufficient to maintai n desired water level in the
reservoir throughout the year.
4. The catchments area for the reservoir to collect rainwater should be large.
5. There should not be any possibility of leakage of water in future.
6. The site should have firm rock for foundatio n.

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a) Diversion and intake

b) Desilting chamber
c) Water conducting system
d) Balancing reservoir
e) Surge tank (if necessary)
f) Penstock
g) Power house: turbine, generator, protection and control equipment,
dewatering, drainage system, auxiliary, power system, grounding, emergency
and standby power system, lighting and ventilation
Tail race channel.

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The diversion structure provided should be simple in construction as well as
economical. It should involve minimum maintenance. Depending upon the type
of river bed the diversion structure may be of two -type viz. Boulder weir and
Trench type weir. It is usually constructed in re-enforced concrete or masonry.

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Water conducting system is the very important component of hydro -power plant.
The type of water conductor system depends on the site conditions and the
materials available. The design of the water conduction system should ensure
minimum head loss, adequate velocity of flow so that silt does not settle down.
The material of construction should be such that loss due to seepage is also
minimized. The most commonly used channel section is trapezoi dal.
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Desilting tank is provided usually in the initial reaches of water conductor to trap
the suspended silt load and pebbles etc ; so as to minimize the erosion damages
to the turbine runner. The size of silt particles to be trapped f or medium head
power stations is from 0.2 to 0.5 mm and for high head it is from 0.1 to 0.2 mm.
The depth of tank may be kept between 1.5 to 4 m. The horizontal flow velocity
should not exceed 0.4 to 0.6 m/s.

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The layout of hydro power plants envisages positioning of the various

components of the plant to insure optimum use of available space for its efficient
and convenient erection, operation and maintenance.
The power is positioned at the toe of the concrete mas onry dam where the
suitable rock to lay foundation is available each turbine is fed by a separate
penstock which is embedded inside the non -overflow section of the dam. The
power house separated from the dam expansion joints. With a view to minimize
the fluctuations in the tail water level. Especially due to ski jump trajectory, the
power go use maybe located further downstream and fed through a tunnel
branching into individual penstocks near the powerhouse.
The powerhouse may be located at the underground, led through pressure shafts
or pressure tunnels with surge tank. The power house may be located below the
ski jump bucket itself. In the case of earth and rock fill dams, the power house is
separated from the dam founded on suitable location and fed by pe nstock s
generally taken out from a tunnel earlier used as diversion tunnel. Sometimes
penstock may be laid in trench excavated below the dam buried in concrete.
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It is the best choice when sufficient area is available to accommodate the
powerhouse within economical and convenient excavation. The there are three
types of surface powerhouse depending on superstructure are outdoor, semi out
door, indoor types

The surface with setting of turbines below the minimum tail water level may
involve substantial excavation and then backfilling with concrete to facilitate
construction of high retaining walls for protections against floods. In this type
vertical shafts are driven in rock for ho using part of draft tube, spiral casings
turbines and generators.

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In this type of power plant which is incorporated in the body of spillway beneath
the crest. The head water elevation is incorporated in the body of spillway
beneath the crest. The head water elevation is maintained with the help of
vertical lift crest gates. It has advantages of economy because separate
powerhouse structure is avoided in this arrangement.


So just how do we get electricity from water? Actually, hydroelectric and coal-
fired power plants produce electricity in a similar way. In both cases a power
source is used to turn a propeller-like piece called a turbine, which then turns a
metal shaft in an electric generator w hich is the motor that produces electricity.
A coal-fired power plant uses steam to turn the turbine blades; whereas a
hydroelectric plant uses falling water to turn the turbine. The resu lts are the

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The theory is to build a dam on a large river that has a large drop in elevation
(there are not many hydroelectric plants in Kansas or Florida). The dam stores
lots of water behind it in the reservoir. Near the bottom of the dam wall there is
the water intake. Gravity causes it to fall through the penstock inside the dam.
At the end of the penstock there is a turbine propeller, which is turned by the
moving water. The shaft from the turbine goes up into the generato r, which
produces the power.

Power lines are connected to the generator that carry electricity to your home
and mine. The water continues past the propeller through the tailrace into the
river past the dam. By the way, it is not a good idea to be playing in the water
right below a dam when water is released!
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The impulse turbine is very easy to understand. A nozzle transforms water under
a high head into a powerful jet. The momentum of this jet is destroyed by
striking the runner, which absorbs the resulting force. If the velocity o f the water
leaving the runner is nearly zero, all of the kinetic energy of the jet has been
transformed into mechanical energy, so the efficiency is high.
A practical impulse turbine was invented by Lester A.
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Pelton (1829-1908) in California around 1870. There were high-pressure jets
there used in placer mining, and a primitive turbine called the hurdy -gurdy, a
mere rotating platform with vanes, had been used since the '60's, driven by such
jets. Pelton also invented the split bucket, now universally used , in 1880. Pelton
is a trade name for the products of the company he originated, but the term is
now used generically for all similar impulse turbines.

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By contrast with the impulse turbine, reaction turbines are di fficult to understand
and analyze, especially the ones usually met with in practice. The modest lawn
sprinkler comes to our aid, since it is both a reaction turbine, and easy to
understand. It will be our introduction to reaction turbines. In the impulse
turbine, the pressure change occurred in the nozzle, where pressure head was
converted into kinetic energy. There was no pressure change in the runner,
which had the sole duty of turning momentum change into torque. In the
reaction turbine, the pressure change occurs in the runner itself at the same
time that the force is exerted. The force still comes from rate of change of
momentum, but not as obviously as in the impulse turbine.
The duty of the lawn sprinkler is to spread water; its energy output as a tur bine
serves only to move the sprinkler head. It is a descendant of Hero's aeolipile,
the rotating globe with two bent jets that was quite a sensation in ancient times,
though this worked with steam, not water. The lawn sprinkler seems directly
descended from Rev. Robert Barker's proposed mill of 1740. He used two jets at
right angles to the radius. A later improvement fed water from below to balance
the weight of the runner and reduce friction. Barker's mills only appeared as
models, and were never commerci ally offered. The flow of water in a lawn
sprinkler is radially outward. Water under pressure is introduced at the centre,
and jets of water that can cover the area necessary issue from the ends of the
arms at zero gauge pressure. The pressure decrease occurs in the sprinkler
arms. Though the water is projected at an angle to the radius, the water from an
operating sprinkler moves almost along a radius. If you have such a sprinkler,
by all means observe it in action.
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The jets do not impinge on a runner; in fact, they are leaving the runner, so
their momentum is not converted into force as in the impulse turbine. The force
on the runner must act in reaction to the creation of the momentum instead,
which is, of course, the origin of the name of the reaction t urbine.

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Total annual cost of hydro power project consists of three elements:

1. Fixed charges it includes fixed charges on plant interest taxes insurances
depreciation and obsolescence
2. Operation and maintenanc e cost
It includes operating cost, fuel cost, supervisory, labor maintenance, repair and
miscellaneous expenses .the annual operation and maintenance cost is roughly
proportional to the capacity of plant and the number of unit installed. The annual
maintenance cost is usually taken as 1.5% of capital cost.
3. Transmission cost
It covers the cost of transmission facilities to connect the power generated to
the system load.

"Low head" hydroelectric plants are power plants which generally utilize heads of
only a few meters or less. Power plants of this type may utilize a low dam or
weir to channel water, or no dam and simply use the "run of the river". Run of
the river generating stations cannot store water, thus their electric output varies
with seasonal flows of water in a river. A large volume of water must pass
through a low head hydro plant's turbines in order to produce a useful amount of
power. Hydro-electric facilities with a capacity of less than about 25 MW (1 MW
= 1,000,000 Watts) are generally r eferred to as "small hydro", although hydro -
electric technology is basically the same regardless of generating capacity.
"Pumped Storage" is another form of hydro -electric power. Pumped storage
facilities use excess electrical system capacity, generally a vailable at night, to
pump water from one reservoir to another reservoir at a higher elevation. During
periods of Peak electrical demand, water from the higher reservoir is released
through turbines to the lower reservoir, and electricity is produced (Figu re 2).
Although pumped storage sites are not net producers of electricity - it actually
takes more electricity to pump the water up than is recovered when it is
released - they are a valuable addition to electricity supply systems. Their value
is in their ability to store electricity for use at a later time when peak demands
are occurring. Storage is even more valuable if intermittent sources of electricity
such as solar or wind are hooked into a system.
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The hydroelectric industry has been termed "mature" by some who charge that
the technical and operational aspects of the industry have changed little in the
past 60 years. Recent research initiatives counter this label by establishing new
concepts for design and operation that show promise for the industry. A multi -
year research project is presently testing new turbine designs and will
recommend a final turbine blade configuration that will allow safe passage of
more than 98 percent of the fish that are directed through the turbine. The DOE
also recently identified more than 30 million kilowatts of untapped hydroelectric
capacity that could be constructed with minimal environmental effects at existing
dams that presently have no hydroelectric generating f acilities, at existing
hydroelectric projects with unused potential, and even at a number of sites
without dams. Follow-up studies will assess the economic issues associated with
this untapped hydroelectric resource. In addition, studies to estimate the
hydroelectric potential of undeveloped, small capacity, dispersed sites that could
supply electricity to adjacent areas without connecting to a regional electric
transmission distribution system are proceeding. Preliminary results from these
efforts have improved the visibility of hydroelectric power and provide
indications that the hydroelectric power industry will be vibrant and important to
the country throughout the next century.
The theoretical size of the worldwide hydro power is about four times greate r
than that which has been exploited at this time. The actual amount of electricity
which will ever be generated by hydro power will be much less than the
theoretical potential. This is due to the environmental concerns outlined above,
and economic constraints. Much of the remaining hydro potential in the world
exists in the developing countries of Africa and Asia. Harnessing this resource
would require billions of dollars, because hydro -electric facilities generally have
very high construction costs. In the past, the World Bank has spent billions of
foreign aid dollars on huge hydro -electric projects in the third world. Opposition
to hydro power from environmentalists and native people, as well as new
environmental assessments at the World Bank will restric t the amount of money
spent on hydro-electric power construction in the developing countries of the
In North-America and Europe, a large percentage of hydro power potential has
already been developed. Public opposition to large hydro schemes will p robably
result in very little new development of big dams and reservoirs. Small scale and
low head hydro capacity will probably increase in the future as research on low
head turbines, and standardized turbine production, lowers the costs of hydro -
electric power at sites with Companies have to dig up the Earth or drill wells to
get the coal, oil, and gas
for nuclear power plants there are waste -disposal problems
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Low heads. New computerized control systems and improved turbines may allow
more electricity to be generated from existing facilities in the future. As well,
many small hydro electric sites were abandoned in the 1950's and 60's when the
price of oil and coal was very low, and their environmental impacts unrealized.
Increased fuel prices in the future could result in these facilities being

1. Renewable source of energy thereby saves scares fuel reserves.
2. Economical source of power.
3. Non-polluting and hence environment friendly.
4. Reliable energy source with approximately 90% availability.
5. Low generation cost compared with other energy sources.
6. Indigenous, inexhaustible, perpetual and renewable energy source.
7. Low operation and maintenance cost.
8. Possible to build power plant of high capacity.
9. Plant equipment is simple.
10. Socio-economic benefits being located usually remote areas.
11. Higher efficiency, 95%to98%.
12. Fuel is not burned so there is minimal pollutio n
13. Water to run the power plant is provided free by nature
14.It's renewable - rainfall renews the water in the reservoir, so the fuel is
almost always there.

1. Susceptible to vagaries of nature such as draught.
2. Longer construction period and high initial cost.
3. Loss of large land due to reservoir.
4. Non-availability of suitable sites for the construction of dam.
5. Displacement of large population from reservoir area and rehabilitation.
6. Environmental aspect reservoirs verses river ecology.
7. High cost of transmission system for remote sites.
8. They use up valuable and limited natural resources
9. They can produce a lot of pollution
10.Companies have to dig up the Earth or drill wells to get the coal, oil, and gas
11.For nuclear power plants there are waste-disposal problems

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Koyna Dam is one of the largest dams in Maharashtra, India. It is located in

Koyna Nagar, nestled in the Western Ghats on the state highway between
Chiplun and Karad, Maharashtra. The dam supplies water to western
Maharashtra as well as cheap hydroelectric power to the neighbouring areas with
a capacity of 1,920 MW. The Koyna project is actually composed of four dams,
with the Koyna dam having the largest c atchment area.
The catchment area dams the Koyna River and forms a huge lake ² the
Shivsagar Lake whose length is 50 kilometres. Completed in 1963, it is one of
the largest civil engineering projects commissioned after Indian independence.
The Koyna electricity project is run by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board.
Most of the generators are located in excavated caves a kilometre deep, inside
the heart of the surrounding hills.
The dam is blamed for the spate of earthquakes in the recent past. In 1967 a
devastating earthquake almost razed the dam, with the dam developing major
cracks. Geologists are still uncertain if the Koyna Dam is responsible for the
spate in seismic activity.

Koyna Dam is one of the largest damsinMaharashtra,India. It is located i n Koyna

Nagar, nestled in the Western Ghats on the state highway between Chiplun and
Karad,Maharashtra. The dam supplies water to western Maharashtra as well as
cheap Hydro electric power to the neighbouring areas with a capacity of 1,920
MW. The Koyna project is actually composed of four dams, with the Koyna dam
having the largest catchment area.
The catchment area dams the Koyna River and forms a huge lake ² the
Shivsagar Lake whose length is 50 kilometres. Completed in 1963, it is one of
the largest civil engineering projects commissioned after Indian independence.
The Koyna electricity project is run by theMaharashtra State Electricity Board.
Most of the generators are located in excavated cavesa kilometre deep, inside
the heart of the surrounding hills.
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The dam is blamed for the spate of earthquake in the recent past. In 1967 a
devastating earthquake almost razed the dam, with the dam developing major
cracks. Geologists are still uncertain if the Koyna Dam is responsible for the
spate in seismic activity.
‡ Storage:
o Gross storage: 98.78 TMC
o Live: 93.65 TMC
o Dead: 5.125 TMC
‡ Length: 1807.22 m
‡ Height: 85.35 m
‡ Year of completion: 1963
The Koyna Dam in Maharashtra

The resovoir behind the dam is 50 km in length.

Gravitational potential energy is stored in the water above the dam. Because of
the great height of the water, it will arrive at the turbines at high pressure,
which means that we can extract a great deal of energy from it. The water then
flows away downriver as normal.
In mountainous countries such as Switzerland and New Zealand, hydro -electric
power provides more than half of the country's energy needs.
An alternative is to build the station next to a fast -flowing river. However with
this arrangement the flow of the water cannot be controlled, and water cannot
be stored for later use.

Hydro-electric power stations can produce a great deal of power very cheaply.
When it was first built, the huge "Hoover Dam", on the Colorado river, supplied
much of the electricity for the city of Las Vegas; however now Las Vegas has
grown so much, the city gets most of its energy from other sources.
There's a good explanation of how hydro power works at
Although there are many suitable sites around the world, hydro -electric dams
are very expensive to build. However, once the station is built, the water comes
free of charge, and there is no waste or pollution.

1962 - 1963

Height of dam: 103 meters

Water storage: 2,797.400 km³

Volume of dam: 1,555.000 m³
Width of dam: 808 m
Slope at water side: 24:1
Length of 60 km
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In a major technological breakthrough, the engineers of Koyna hydroelectric

project today successfully performed the `lake tapping' operatio ns at Shivaji
Sagar reservoir of the dam. This operation or `lake tapping' using Norwegian
technology will pave the way for the commissioning of the 1,000 MW stage four
of the Koyna hydroelectric project, which would take total generation capacity to
1,920 MW by this year end.
Enthusiasm reigned on the banks of Shivaji Sagar reservoir, as people from
neighbouring villages flocked the lake to witness the `lake tapping', the first of
its kind in Asia.
Standing on the hilly terrain of the Koyna backwater, pe ople were all ears to the
announcements made by Shrikant Huddar, chief engineer of the Koyna Hydel
project. And as Huddar instructed his subordinates to switch on the Konsbergs
underwater cameras, the countdown for the million dollar blast had begun.
Beginning from 10, Huddar launched his countdown and just after he had
announcedzero, within a fraction of a second after Chief Minister Narayan Rane
had switched knobs activating the blastings, hundreds of people felt waves of
tremors passing under their feet.

Suddenly, a mushroom flower -like cloud of water erupted from Shivaji Sagar
reservoir, and ripples after ripples hit the banks. Soon after the ripples hit the
banks, villagers standing on the banks lifted the water from the reservoir and
gently applied it to their foreheads. No one could hear the sound of the blasts,
but they had certainly felt it deep inside their hearts. Certainly it was a moment
to cherish.
Planned for 1000 MW power generation, the fourth stage of Koyna hydro electric
project, envisages that the water will be tapped by piercing the Koyna reservoir,
following which it will be carried through a 4.25 km -long head race tunnel into
the underground power house. The water will be finally released in Kolkewadi
Lake of stage III.
Speaking on the occasion after the blasts had been conducted, ministers Eknath
Khadase,Anna Dange, Harshvardhan Patil, Deputy Chief Minister Gopinath
Munde and Chief Minister Narayan Rane were all praise for the State irrigation
department. While Irrigation Minister Kh adse said such blasts could be replicated
in future to generate more power, Rural Development Minister Anna Dange
actually coined a couplet describing the event.Munde, who also holds the energy
portfolio, expressed his gratitude to irrigation department fo r inviting him to
witness the `lake tapping'. He also said the `event' was a major leap towards
the State Government's dream to be self -sufficient in power generation.
``At present there is a shortage of nearly 1000 -1500 MW of power in the State.
This difference will be reduced after the Koyna fourth stage starts generating
1000 MW power,'' he said. Chief Minister was also all praise for the irrigation
department and said this development would go a long way in providing excess
power for the State.
The Koyana dam is at Koynanagar in Patan tehsil of Satara district in
theSahyadaris. Its Shivaji Sagar reservoir has a capacity of 2,797 million cubic
metres of water. The Rs 1,300 crore stage -four project is a World Bank funded
project having commenced in 1992.
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Most hydroelectric power comes from the potential energy of dammed water
driving a water turbine and generator. The power extracted from the water
depends on the volume and on the difference in height between the source and
the water's outflow. This height difference is called the head. The amount of
potential energy in water is proportional to the head. To deliver water to a
turbine while maintaining pressure arising from the head, a large pipe called a
penstock may be used.


This method produces electricity to supply high peak demands by moving water
between reservoirs at different elevations. At times of low electrical demand,
excess generation capacity is used to pump water into the higher reservoir.
When there is higher demand, water is released back into the lower reservoir
through a turbine. Pumped -storage schemes currently provide the most
commercially important means of large -scale grid energy storage and improve
the daily capacity factor of the generation system.


Run-of-the-river hydroelectric stations are those with smaller reservoir

capacities, thus making it impossible to store water.


A tidal power plant makes use of the daily rise and fall of water due to tides;
such sources are highly predictable, and if conditions permit construction of
reservoirs, can also be dispatchable to generate power during high demand
periods. Less common types of hydro schemes use water's kinetic energy or
undammed sources such as undershot waterwheels.

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The Three Gorges dam ,china seen here from space, is the largest operating
hydroelectric power stations at an installed capacity of 22,50 0 MW.

Although no official definition exist for the capacity range of large hydroelectric
power stations, facilities from over a few hundred megawatts to more than
10GW is generally considered large hydroelectric facilities. Currently, only three
facilities over 10GW (10,000MW)are in operation worldwide; Three Gorges Dam
at 22.5 GW, Itaipu Dam at 14 GW, and Guri Dam at 10.2 GW. Large-scale
hydroelectric power stations are more commonly seen as the largest power
producing facilities in the world, with some hydroel ectric facilities capable of
generating more than double the installed capacities of the current largest
nuclear power stations.
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While many hydroelectric projects supply public electricity networks, some are
created to serve specific industrial enterprises. Dedicated hydroelectric projects
are often built to provide the substantial amounts of electricity needed for
aluminium electrolytic plants, for example. The Grand Coulee Dam switched to
support Alcoa aluminium in Bellingham, Washington, United States for American
World WarII airplanes before it was allowed to provide irrigation and power to
citizens (in addition to aluminium power) after the war.

In Suriname, the Brokopondo Reservoir was constructed to provide electricity

for the Alcoa aluminium industry. New Zealand's Manppouri Power Station was
constructed to supply electricity to the aluminium smelter at Tiwai Point.

The construction of these large hydroelectric facilities and the changes it makes
to the environment, are often too a t very large scales, creating just as much
damage to the environment as at helps it by being a renewable resource. Many
specialized organizations, such as the International Hydropower Association, look
into these matters on a global scale.


Small hydro is the development of hydroelectric power on a scale serving a small

community or industrial plant. The definition of a small hydro project varies but
a generating capacity of up to 10 megawatts (MW) is generally accepted as the
upper limit of what can be termed small hydro. This may be stretched to 25 MW
and 30 MW in Canada and the United States. Small-scale hydroelectricity
production grew by 28% during 2008 from 2005, raising the total world small -
hydro capacity to 85GW Over 70% of this was in China (65 GW), followed by
Japan (3.5 GW), the United States (3 GW), and India (2 GW).

Small hydro plants may be connected to conventional electrical distribution

networks as a source of low-cost renewable energy. Alternatively, small hydro
projects may be built in isolated areas that would be uneconomic to serve from a
network, or in areas where there is no national electrical distribution network.
Since small hydro projects usually have minimal reservoirs and civil construction
work, they are seen as having a r elatively low environmental impact compared
to large hydro. This decreased environmental impact depends strongly on the
balance between stream flow and power productio n.
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A micro-hydro facility.

Micro hydro is a term used for hydroelectric power installations that typically
produce up to 100KW of power. These installations can provide power to an
isolated home or small community, or are sometimes connected to electric
power networks. There are many of these installations around the world,
particularly in developing nations as they can provide an economical source of
energy without purchase of fuel.Micro hydro systems complement photovoltaic
solar energy systems because in many areas, water flow, and thus available
hydro power, is highest in the winter when solar energy is at a minimum.

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Pico hydro is a term used for hydroelectric power generation of under 5KW. It is
useful in small, remote communities that require only a small amount of
electricity. For example ,to power one or two fluorescent light bulbs and a TV or
radio for a few homes. Even smaller turbines of 200-300W may power a single
home in a developing country with a drop of only 1 m (3 ft).

Pico-hydro setups typically are run-of-the-river, meaning that dams are not
used, but rather pipes divert some of the flow, drop this down a gradient, and
through the turbine before being exhausted back to the stream. c

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A simple formula for approximating electric power produc tion at a hydroelectric

plant is:  = Ǐ , where

Vc  is Power in watts,
Vc Ǐ is the density of water (~1000 kg/m3),
Vc is height in meters,
Vc  is flow rate in cubic meters per second,
Vc  is acceleration due to gravity of 9.8 m/s2,
Vc  is a coefficient of efficiency ranging from 0 to 1. Efficiency is often
higher (that is, closer to 1) with larger and more modern turbines.

Annual electric energy production depends on the available water supply. In

some installations the water flow rate can vary by a factor of 10:1 over the
course of a year.

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The festiniog Power Station can generate 360MW of electricity within 60 seconds
of the demand arising.


The major advantage of hydroelectricity is elimination of the cost of fuel. The

cost of operating a hydroelectric plant is nearly immune to increases in the cost
of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas or coal, and no imports are needed.

Hydroelectric plants also tend to have longer economic lives than fuel -fired
generation, with some plants now in service which were built 50 to 100 years
ago. Operating labor cost is also usually low, as plants are automated and have
few personnel on site during normal operation.
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Where a dam serves multiple purposes, a hydroelectric plant may be added with
relatively low construction cost, providing a useful revenue stream to offset the
costs of dam operation.

It has been calculated that the sale of electricity from t he Three Gorges Dam
will cover the construction costs after 5 to 8 years of full generation.


Since hydroelectric dams do not burn fossil fuels, they do not directly produce
carbon dioxide. While some carbon dioxide is produced during manufact ure and
construction of the project, this is a tiny fraction of the operating emissions of
equivalent fossil-fuel electricity generation. One measurement of greenhouse gas
related and other externality comparison between energy sources can be found
in the ExternE project by the Paul Scherrer Institute and the University of
Stuttgart which was funded by the European Commission. According to this
project, hydroelectricity produces the least amount of greenhouse gases and
externality of any energy source.Coming in second place was wind, third was
nuclear energy, and fourth was solar photovoltaic.The extremely positive
greenhouse gas impact of hydroelectricity is found especially in temperate
climates. The above study was for local energy in Europe presumably similar
conditions prevail in North America and Northern Asia, which all see a regular,
natural freeze/thaw cycle (with associated seasonal plant decay and regrowth.


Reservoirs created by hydroelectric schemes often provide facil ities for water
sports, and become tourist attractions themselves. In some countries,
aquaculture in reservoirs is common. Multi-use dams installed for irrigation
support agriculture with a relatively constant water supply. Large hydro dams
can control floods, which would otherwise affect people living downstream of the


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Hydroelectric power stations that uses dams would submerge large areas of land
due to the requirement of a reservoir.

Large reservoirs required for the operation of hydroelectric power stations result
in submersion of extensive areas upstream of the dams, destroying biologically
rich and productive lowland and riverine valley forests, marshland and
grasslands. The loss of land is often exacerbated by the fact that reservoirs
cause habitat fragmentation of surrounding areas.

Hydroelectric projects can be disruptive to surrounding aquatic ecosystems both

upstream and downstream of the plant site. For instance, studies have s hown
that dams along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America have reduced
salmon populations by preventing access to spawning grounds upstream, even
though most dams in salmon habitat have fish ladders installed. Salmon spawn
are also harmed on their migration to sea when they must pass through
turbines. This has led to some areas transporting smolt downstream by barge
during parts of the year. In some cases dams, such as the Marmot Dam, have
been demolished due to the high impact on fish .Turbine and power-plant designs
that are easier on aquatic life are an active area of research. Mitigation
measures such as fish ladders may be required at new projects or as a condition
of re-licensing of existing projects.
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Generation of hydroelectric power chan ges the downstream river environment.
Water exiting a turbine usually contains very little suspended sediment, which
can lead to scouring of river beds and loss of riverbanks.Since turbine gates are
often opened intermittently, rapid or even daily fluctuat ions in river flow are
observed. For example, in the Grand Canyon, the daily cyclic flow variation
caused by Glen Canyon Dam was found to be contributing to erosion of sand
bars. Dissolved oxygen content of the water may change from pre -construction
conditions. Depending on the location, water exiting from turbines is typically
much warmer than the pre-dam water, which can change aquatic faunal
populations, including endangered species, and prevent natural freezing
processes from occurring. Some hydroelectric projects also use canals to divert a
river at a shallower gradient to increase the head of the scheme. In some cases,
the entire river may be diverted leaving a dry riverbed. Examples include the
Tekapo and Pukaki Rivers in New Zealand.


Changes in the amount of river flow will correlate with the amount of energy
produced by a dam. Lower river flows because of drought, climate change or
upstream dams and diversions will reduce the amount of live storage in a
reservoir therefore reducing the amount of water that can be used for
hydroelectricity. The result of diminished river flow can be power shortages in
areas that depend heavily on hydroelectric power.
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Although these emissions represent carbon already in the biosphere, not fossil
deposits that had been sequestered from the carbon cycle, there is a greater
amount of methane due to anaerobic decay, causing greater damage than would
otherwise have occurred had the forest decayed naturally.

In boreal reservoirs of Canada and Northern Europe, however, greenhouse gas

emissions are typically only 2% to 8% of any kind of conventional fossil -fuel
thermal generation. A new class of und erwater logging operation that targets
drowned forests can mitigate the effect of forest decay.

In 2007, International Rivers accused hydropower firms for cheating with fake
carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism, for hydropower
projects already finished or under construction at the moment they applied to
join the CDM. These carbon credits ± of hydropower projects under the CDM in
developing countries ± can be sold to companies and governments in rich
countries, in order to comply with the Kyoto protocol.


Another disadvantage of hydroelectric dams is the need to relocate the people

living where the reservoirs are planned. In February 2008, it was estimated that
40-80 million people worldwide had been physically displaced as a direct result
of dam construction. In many cases, no amount of compensation can replace
ancestral and cultural attachments to places that have spiritual value to the
displaced population. Additionally, historically and culturally important sites can
be flooded and lost.

Such problems have arisen at the Aswan Dam in Egypt between 1960 and 1980,
the Three Gorges Dam in China, the Clyde Dam in New Zealand, and the Ilisu
Dam in Turkey.

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Because large conventional dammed -hydro facilities hold back large volumes of
water, a failure due to poor construction, terrorism, or other causes can be
catastrophic to downriver settlements and infrastructure. Dam failures have
been some of the largest man-made disasters in history. Also, good design and
construction are not an adequate guarantee of safety. Dams are tempting
industrial targets for wartime attack, sabotage and terrorism, such as Operation
Chastise in World War II.

The Banqiao Dam failure in Southern China directly resulted in the deaths of
26,000 people, and another 145,000 from epidemics. Millions were left
homeless. Also, the creation of a dam in a geologically inappropriate location
may cause disasters like the one of the Vajont Dam in Italy, where almost 2000
people died, in 1963 .
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Smaller dams and micro hydro facilities create less risk, but can form continuing
hazards even after they have been decommissioned. For example, the small
Kelly Barnes Dam failed in 1967, causing 39 deaths with the Toccoa Flood, ten
years after its power plant was decommissioned in 1957.


Hydroelectricity eliminates the flue gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion ,
including pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, dust,
and mercury in the coal. Hydroelectricity also avoids the hazards of coal mining
and the indirect health effects of coal emissions. Compared to nuclear power,
hydroelectricity generates no nuclear waste, has none of the dangers associated
with uranium mining, nor nuclear leaks. Unlike uranium, hydroelectricity is also a
renewable energy source.

Compared to wind farms, hydroelectricity power plants have a more predictable

load factor. If the project has a storage reservoir, it can be dispatched to
generate power when needed. Hydroelectric plants can be easily regulated to
follow variations in power demand.

Unlike fossil-fuelled combustion turbines, construction of a hydroelectric plant

requires a long lead-time for site studies, hydrological studies, and
environmental impact assessment. Hydrological data up to 50 years or more is
usually required to determine the best sites and operating regimes for a large
hydroelectric plant. Unlike plants operated by fuel, such a s fossil or nuclear
energy, the number of sites that can be economically developed for hydroelectric
production is limited; in many areas the most cost effective sites have already
been exploited. New hydro sites tend t o be far from population centres and
require extensive transmission lines. Hydroelectric generation depends on
rainfall in the watershed, and may be significantly reduced in years of low
rainfall or snowmelt. Long-term energy yield may be affected by climate change.
Utilities that primarily use hydroelectric power may spend additional capital to
build extra capacity to ensure sufficient power is available in low water years.

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Hydro-electric power plants have many environmental impacts, some of which

are just beginning to be understood. These impacts, however, must be weighed
against the environmental impacts of alternative sources of electricity. Until
recently there was an almost universal belief that hydro power was a clean and
environmentally safe method of producing e lectricity. Hydro-electric power
plants do not emit any of the standard atmospheric pollutant s such as carbon
dioxide or sulphur dioxide given off by fossil fuel fired power plants. In this
respect, hydro power is better than burning coal, oil or natural g as to produce
electricity, as it does not contribute to global warming or acid rain.
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Similarly, hydro-electric power plants do not result in the risks of radioactive
contamination associated with nuclear power plants.
A few recent studies of large reservoirs created behind hydro dams have
suggested that decaying vegetation, submerged by flooding, may give off
quantities of greenhouse gases equivalent to those from other sources of
electricity. If this turns out to be true, hydro-electric facilities such as the James
Bay project in Quebec that flood large areas of land might be significant
contributors to global warming. Run of the river hydro plants without dams and
reservoirs would not be a source of these greenhouse gases.
The most obvious impact of hyd ro-electric dams is the flooding of vast areas of
land, much of it previously forested or used for agriculture. The size of reservoirs
created can be extremely large. The La Grande project in the James Bay region
of Quebec has already submerged over 10,000 square kilometers of land; and if
future plans are carried out, the eventual area of flooding in northern Quebec
will be larger than the country of Switzerland. Reservoirs can be used for
ensuring adequate water supplies, providing irrigation, and recreat ion; but in
several cases they have flooded the homelands of native peoples, whose way of
life has then been destroyed. Many rare ecosystems are also threatened by
hydro-electric development.
Large dams and reservoirs can have other impacts on a watershed . Damming a
river can alter the amount and quality of water in the river downstream of the
dam, as well as preventing fish from migrating upstream to spawn. These
impacts can be reduced by requiring minimum flows downstream of a dam, and
by creating fish ladders which allow fish to move upstream past the dam. Silt,
normally carried downstream to the lower reaches of a river, is trapped by a
dam and deposited on the bed of the reservoir. This silt can slowly fill up a
reservoir, decreasing the amount of wate r which can be stored and used for
electrical generation. The river downstream of the dam is also deprived of silt
which fertilizes the river's flood-plain during high water periods.
Bacteria present in decaying vegetation can also change mercury, present in
rocks underlying a reservoir, into a form which is soluble in water. The mercury
accumulates in the bodies of fish and poses a health hazard to those who
depend on these fish for food. The water quality of many reservoirs also poses a
health hazard due to new forms of bacteria which grow in many of the hydro
rivers. Therefore, run of the river type hydro plants generally have a smaller
impact on the environment

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World renewable energy share as at 2008, with hydroelectricity more than 50%
of all renewable energy sources.
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