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Water power the matured


Water power has a long

history. Until the early
twentieth century,
water powered mills
ground grain into
flour, sawed lumber
and performed
numerous other
tasks. Such direct
usage is now rare,
and most water
power is used to
generate a
convenient secondary
energy source,

Hydro power is available by creating dams in stream and

river flows. Hydro power generation is an established
technology and maybe as much as one fifth of the world's
electricity is generated this way, which is slightly more
than by nuclear generation.

Hydroelectric dam in cross section

In electricity generation, an
electrical generator is a device
that converts mechanical energy
to electrical energy, generally
using electromagnetic induction.
The source of mechanical energy
may be a reciprocating or turbine
steam engine, water falling
through a turbine or waterwheel,
an internal combustion engine, a
wind turbine, a hand crank,
compressed air or any other
source of mechanical energy.

Large Dams such as Hoover Dam

are able to provide large amounts of
hydroelectric power; it has a 2.07
gigawatt capability.
Hoover Dam is among the most
recognized and renowned structures
built by the Bureau of Reclamation.
The dam was authorized under the
Boulder Canyon Project.


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.
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.

Greenhouse gas emissions

Since hydroelectric dams

do not burn fossil fuels,
they do not directly
produce carbon dioxide
(a greenhouse gas).
While some carbon
dioxide is produced
during manufacture and
construction of the
project, this is a tiny
fraction of the operating
emissions of equivalent
fossil-fuel electricity

Related activities

Reservoirs created by
hydroelectric schemes
often provide facilities for
water sports, and become
tourist attractions in
themselves. In some
countries, farming fish in
the reservoirs is common.
Multi-use dams installed
for irrigation can support
the fish farm with
relatively constant water


Environmental damage

Hydroelectric projects can be disruptive to surrounding

aquatic ecosystems. For instance, studies have shown
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.

Population relocation

Another disadvantage of
hydroelectric dams is the
need to relocate the
people living where the
reservoirs are planned. In
many cases, no amount
of compensation can
replace ancestral and
cultural attachments to
places that have spiritual
value to the displaced
population. Such
problems have arisen at
the Three Gorges Dam
project in China.

Dam failures

Failures of large dams,

while rare, are potentially
serious the Banqiao
Dam failure in Southern
China resulted in the
deaths of 171,000 people
and left millions
homeless. Dams may be
subject to enemy
bombardment during
wartime, sabotage and
terrorism. Smaller dams
and micro hydro facilities
are less vulnerable to
these threats.

Made by :
Schiopu Nicoleta
Tiganus Emilia Stefana
Coordinated by : Schnabel Dieter