Hydroelectric Power Plant

Hydroelectric Power
‡ Hydro means "water". So, hydropower is "water power" and hydroelectric power is electricity generated using water power. Potential energy (or the "stored" energy in a reservoir) becomes kinetic (or moving energy). This is changed to mechanical energy in a power plant, which is then turned into electrical energy. Hydroelectric power is a renewable resource.

Hydroelectric Power
‡ The damming of streams and rivers has been an integral part of human civilization from its early history. Controversy paralleled this use because impounding and diverting water for upstream users affects those who live downstream, and also modifies the local habitats of plants and animals. Dams are built to control floods, improve navigation, provide a drinking-water supply, create or enhance recreational opportunities, and provide water for irrigation and other agricultural uses. A small percentage of re used to generate power.

History of hydropower
‡ Humans have been harnessing water to perform work for thousands of years. The Greeks used water wheels for grinding wheat into flour more than 2,000 years ago. Besides grinding flour, the power of the water was used to saw wood and power textile mills and manufacturing plants. For more than a century, the technology for using falling water to create hydroelectricity has existed. The evolution of the modern hydropower turbine began in the mid-1700s when a French hydraulic and military engineer, Bernard Forest de Bélidor wrote Architecture Hydraulique. In this four volume work, he described using a vertical-axis versus a horizontal-axis machine.

a brush dynamo connected to a turbine in a flour mill provided street lighting at Niagara Falls. These two projects used direct-current technology. Alternating current is used today. in 1882. Wisconsin. That breakthrough came when the electric generator was coupled to the turbine. and in 1881. New York. water turbine development continued.History of hydropower ‡ During the 1700s and 1800s. Michigan. which resulted in the world's. first hydroelectric plant located in Appleton. In 1880. a brush arc light dynamo driven by a water turbine was used to provide theatre and storefront lighting in Grand Rapids. and the United States'. .

History of hydropower Today ‡ Hydroelectric power plants generally range in size from several hundred kilowatts to several hundred megawatts .3 trillion kilowatthours of electricity each year. supplying 24 percent of the world's electricity to more than 1 billion customers. world hydroelectric power plants have a combined capacity of 675. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. but a few enormous plants have capacities near 10.000 megawatts that produces over 2.000 megawatts in order to supply electricity to millions of people. .

Hence greater interest is being shown in making use of non-polluting energy sources. . The industrialized nations of the world have drawn flak in recent times for releasing high concentrations of green house gases into the atmosphere. The regulations of the Kyoto Protocol are making things tougher. Its use is being promoted in many countries of the world as a renewable and non-polluting source of energy.Components Of The Plant And Their Role In Its Working ‡ Hydroelectricity is one of the main forms of energy in use today.

Components Of The Plant And Their Role In Its Working
Functioning of a hydroelectric power plant ‡ Hydroelectricity is produced in a hydroelectric power plant. In this plant, the water is released from a high location. The potential energy present in the water is converted into kinetic energy, which is then used to rotate the blades of a turbine. The turbine is hooked to the generator which produces electricity.

Components Of The Plant And Their Role In Its Working
‡ Here are the basic components of a conventional hydropower plant:

The main components of hydroelectric power plant
‡ a) The reservoir: Water from a natural water body like a river is stored in the reservoir. This reservoir is built at a level higher than the turbine. ‡ b) The dam: The flow of water stored in the reservoir is obstructed by huge walls of the dam. This prevents the water from flowing and helps us harness the energy present in it. The dam consists of gates present at its bottom, which can be lifted to allow the flow of water through them.

The main components of hydroelectric power plant
‡ Most hydropower plants rely on a dam that holds back water, creating a large reservoir. ‡ c) The penstock: This connects the reservoir with the turbine propeller and runs in a downward inclined manner. When the gates of the dam are lifted, the force of gravity makes the water flow down the penstock and reach the blades of the turbine. As the water flows through the penstock, the potential energy of water stored in the dam is converted into kinetic energy. ‡ d) The turbine: The kinetic energy of the running water turns the blades of the turbine. The turbine can be either a Pelton Wheel Model or a Centrifugal type. The turbine has a shaft connected to the generator.

according to the Foundation for Water & Energy Education (FWEE). A turbine can weigh as much as 172 tons and turn at a rate of 90 revolutions per minute (rpm). ‡ e) The generator: A shaft runs from the turbine to the generator. When the blades of the turbine rotate.The main components of hydroelectric power plant ‡ The most common type of turbine for hydropower plants is the Francis Turbine. . which looks like a big disc with curved blades. the shaft turns a motor which produces electric current in the generator.

. producing alternating current (AC) by moving electrons. (You'll learn more about how the generator works later.The main components of hydroelectric power plant ‡ Giant magnets rotate past copper coils.) ‡ f) Power lines: The power produced in the generator is sent to various power distribution stations through the power lines.

The main components of hydroelectric power plant Out of every power plant come four wires: the three phases of power being produced simultaneously plus a neutral or ground common to all three. Outflow . a pipeline that leads to the turbine. Intake .The transformer inside the powerhouse takes the AC and converts it to higher-voltage current. . Water builds up pressure as it flows through this pipe. called tailraces.Used water is carried through pipelines. and re-enters the river downstream. Transformer .Gates on the dam open and gravity pulls the water through the penstock.

The shaft that connects the turbine and generator . the water flows through an outlet pipe called the tailrace and is released into the river downstream of the power plant.The main components of hydroelectric power plant ‡ After passing through the turbine.

so does the electricity generated. . When the gates open. The head refers to the distance between the water surface and the turbines. As the head and flow increase. The head is usually dependent upon the amount of water in the reservoir. The amount of electricity that is generated is determined by several factors. the water flowing through the penstock becomes kinetic energy because it's in motion. Two of those factors are the volume of water flow and the amount of hydraulic head.The main components of hydroelectric power plant ‡ The water in the reservoir is considered stored energy.

Most hydropower plants have several of these generators.The main components of hydroelectric power plant ‡ The Generator The heart of the hydroelectric power plant is the generator. .

as you might have guessed. generates the electricity. which produces electrical current. Each generator is made of certain basic parts: Shaft Excitor Rotor Stator .The main components of hydroelectric power plant ‡ The generator. The basic process of generating electricity in this manner is to rotate a series of magnets inside coils of wire. This process moves electrons.

the excitor sends an electrical current to the rotor. The magnetic field between the coil and the magnets creates an electric current.The main components of hydroelectric power plant ‡ As the turbine turns. called the stator. . The rotor is a series of large electromagnets that spins inside a tightly-wound coil of copper wire.

Types of Hydroelectric Power Plants .

They are ideal for powering smaller services such as the operation of processing machines. The main application for these hydro systems is in small. .Types of Hydroelectric Power Plants ‡ Micro-Scale As their name implies. micro-hydroelectric plants are the smallest type of hydroelectric energy systems. isolated villages in developing countries. They generate between one kilowatt and one megawatt of power.

These systems are relatively inexpensive and reliable.Types of Hydroelectric Power Plants Small-Scale Small hydropower systems can supply up to 20 megawatts of energy. . They have the potential to provide electricity to rural areas in developing countries throughout the world. Small systems are especially important to countries that may not be able to afford the costs of importing fossil fuels such as petroleum from other countries.

However. The water passes through the plant without greatly changing the flow rate of the river. the flow rate and elevation drops of the water are consistent enough that hydroelectric plants can be built directly in the river.Types of Hydroelectric Power Plants Run-of-the-River In some areas of the world. one problem with run-of-the-river plants is the obstruction of fish and other aquatic animals. In many instances a dam is not required. . and therefore the hydroelectric plant causes minimal environmental impact on its surroundings.

such as in an electric train set. ‡ As the propeller is turned by the water. These are very large electric motors containing magnets and wires. the shaft turns. quite similar to any small motor. Most electric power is produced in a similar way -generators don't really care what is used to turn the shaft. Beneath these generators a metal shaft connected to a propeller is being turned by falling water.Types of Hydroelectric Power Plants ‡ The generators are the key to getting electricity from falling water (hydroelectric power). . which then turns the components of the generator to produce electric power.

Water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine. spinning it. uses a dam to store river water in a reservoir. . The water may be released either to meet changing electricity needs or to maintain a constant reservoir level. which in turn activates a generator to produce electricity. typically a large hydropower system.Types of hydropower plants ‡ Impoundment The most common type of hydroelectric power plant is an impoundment facility. An impoundment facility.

Types of hydropower plants ‡ An impoundment hydropower plant dams water in a reservoir .

. facility channels a portion of a river through a canal or penstock. It may not require the use of a dam. No dam was required.Types of hydropower plants ‡ Diversion A diversion. sometimes called run-of-river. ‡ The Tazimina project in Alaska is an example of a diversion hydropower plant.

.Types of hydropower plants ‡ Pumped storage When the demand for electricity is low. a pumped storage facility stores energy by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir. During periods of high electrical demand. the water is released back to the lower reservoir to generate electricity.

Types of hydropower plants ‡ Pumped storage: Reusing water for peak electricity demand .

which reuses the same water more than once. not so much.Types of hydropower plants ‡ Demand for electricity is not "flat" and constant. you can bet there is a huge demand for electricity to run millions of air conditioners! But. and one way of doing that is by using "pumped storage". businesses... here in Atlanta. Hydroelectric plants are more efficient at providing for peak power demands during short periods than are fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants. . For example. and overnight there is less need for electricity in homes.. 12 hours later at 5:00 AM . Demand goes up and down during the day. and other facilities. Georgia at 5:00 PM on a hot August weekend day.

. such as during the middle of the night. The water is then allowed to flow back through the turbine-generators at times when demand is high and a heavy load is placed on the system.Types of hydropower plants ‡ Pumped storage is a method of keeping water in reserve for peak period power demands by pumping water that has already flowed through the turbines back up a storage pool above the powerplant at a time when customer demand for energy is low.

Because pumped storage reservoirs are relatively small. An advantage of pumped storage is that hydroelectric generating units are able to start up quickly and make rapid adjustments in output. storing power in the form of water when demands are low and producing maximum power during daily and seasonal peak periods.Types of hydropower plants ‡ The reservoir acts much like a battery. construction costs are generally low compared with conventional hydropower facilities. They operate efficiently when used for one hour or several hours. .

called the pumped-storage plant.Like a conventional hydropower plant. .Types of hydropower plants ‡ There's another type of hydropower plant. exits and is carried down stream. a dam creates a reservoir. In a conventional hydropower plant. A pumpedstorage plant has two reservoirs: Upper reservoir .Water exiting the hydropower plant flows into a lower reservoir rather than re-entering the river and flowing downstream. the water from the reservoir flows through the plant. The water in this reservoir flows through the hydropower plant to create electricity. Lower reservoir .

This is done in off-peak hours. the plant has more water to generate electricity during periods of peak consumption. . By pumping water back to the upper reservoir. the second reservoir refills the upper reservoir.Types of hydropower plants ‡ Using a reversible turbine. the plant can pump water back to the upper reservoir. Essentially.

Department of Energy defines large hydropower as facilities that have a capacity of more than 30 megawatts. the U. Large hydropower Although definitions vary.Sizes of hydroelectric power plants ‡ Facilities range in size from large power plants that supply many consumers with electricity to small and micro plants that individuals operate for their own energy needs or to sell power to utilities.S. .

farm. or village. ranch. Micro hydropower A micro hydropower plant has a capacity of up to 100 kilowatts. A small or micro hydroelectric power system can produce enough electricity for a home. .Sizes of hydroelectric power plants ‡ Small hydropower Although definitions vary. DOE defines small hydropower as facilities that have a capacity of 100 kilowatts to 30 megawatts.

Dams also create artificial reservoirs. Hydroelectric projects are also susceptible to fluctuations in river flows and rainfall. and displaces wildlife and people. which floods farmland and forests.Environmental Impact and Drawbacks ‡ Large hydroelectric dams have a number of negative impacts on the local environment and human society. which depends on energy from the Volta River Dam. has suffered severe energy shortages in recent years because of lack of rainfall. . Dams disrupt river ecosystems and migrations. Ghana. killing aquatic life that gets caught in turbine blades.

. INPE scientists are developing ways to produce energy by burning this methane. According to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE). each year the world's dams give off over 100 million metric tons of methane.Environmental Impact and Drawbacks ‡ Large dams and reservoirs in tropical regions are important sources of greenhouse gases.

97 percent of it -. . nor any drop to drink" from the poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.is undrinkable because it's saltwater.386 million cubic kilometers). If you're familiar with the lines "Water." you'll understand that most of this water -. water. Of the 23 percent that is not frozen.5 million cubic miles (1. Only 3 percent of the world's water supply is freshwater. and 77 percent of that is frozen. animal and person on Earth with all the water they need to survive. everywhere. It covers about 70 percent of the Earth for a total of approximately 332. a liquid and a gas (water vapor).Water ‡ Water is the only substance that occurs naturally as a solid (ice). only a half a percent is available to supply every plant.

The structure that houses the turbines and generators is called the powerhouse. and in the course of the fall. usually stored in dams. the water rotates turbines. The mechanical energy produced is converted to electricity by the generators connected to it. Transformers change the alternating current produced by the generators into current of very high voltage for easy transmission through long distances. . is led down through large pipes or tunnels to lower levels.Water ‡ Water.

. the other two being fossil fuels and nuclear fuels. and causes no pollution. Hydroelectricity has certain advantages over these other sources: it is continually renewable thanks to the recurring nature of the water cycle.Water ‡ Hydropower is one of the three principal sources of energy used to generate electricity. it is one of the cheapest sources of electrical energy. Also.

Such plants are suitable were water with suitable head are available.Layout of Hydroelectric Power Plant Hydroelectric power plants convert the hydraulic potential energy from water into electrical energy. The different parts of a hydroelectric power plant are . The layout covered in this article is just a simple one and only cover the important parts of hydroelectric plant.

The reservoir stores the water flowing down the river. . The dams collect water during the rainy season and stores it. The dams should be water-tight and should be able to withstand the pressure exerted by the water on it.Parts of a hydroelectric power plant ‡ Dam Dams are structures built over rivers to stop the water flow and form a reservoir. thus allowing for a steady flow through the turbines throughout the year. Dams are also used for controlling floods and irrigation. The height of water in the dam is called head race. There are different types of dams such as arch dams. This water is diverted to turbines in power stations. gravity dams and buttress dams.

But in case of the controlled type. Spillways could be controlled type or uncontrolled type. It is used to provide for the release of flood water from a dam. The uncontrolled types start releasing water upon water rising above a particular level. regulation of flow is possible. It is used to prevent over toping of the dams which could result in damage or failure of dams.Parts of a hydroelectric power plant Spillway A spillway as the name suggests could be called as a way for spilling of water from dams. .

It is used when an obstruction is present between the dam and power station such as a mountain. Water under high pressure flows through the penstock. They are usually made of steel and are equipped with gate systems. A tunnel serves the same purpose as a penstock. .Parts of a hydroelectric power plant ‡ Penstock and Tunnel Penstocks are pipes which carry water from the reservoir to the turbines inside power station.

It serves the purpose of reducing water hammering in pipes which can cause damage to pipes. it supplies the collected water thereby regulating water flow and pressure inside the penstock.Parts of a hydroelectric power plant ‡ Surge Tank Surge tanks are tanks connected to the water conductor system. and when the water requirements increase. . The sudden surges of water in the penstock is taken by the surge tank.

. The water brought to the power station rotates the vanes of the turbine producing torque and rotation of turbine shaft. The difference between head race and tail race is called gross head and by subtracting the frictional losses we get the net head available to the turbine for generation of electricity.Parts of a hydroelectric power plant ‡ Power Station Power station contains a turbine coupled to a generator. This rotational torque is transfered to the generator and is converted into electricity. The used water is released through the tail race.

. The buckets are mounted in pairs.Hydro Power Plant Working ‡ Pelton Wheel The pelton wheel turbine is a tangential flow impulse turbine. Nozzles direct forceful streams of water against a series of spoon-shaped buckets mounted around the edge of a wheel. to keep the forces on the wheel balanced. efficient momentum transfer of the fluid jet to the wheel. leaving it with diminished energy. Each bucket reverses the flow of water. The Pelton wheel is most efficient in high head applications. water flows along the tangent to the path of the runner. The resulting impulse spins the turbine. as well as to ensure smooth.

Depending on water flow and design. low flow sites. There are multi-ton Pelton wheels mounted on vertical oil pad bearings in the generator houses of hydroelectric plants. . The smallest Pelton wheels. The largest units can be up to 200 megawatts. However. only a few inches across. are used with household plumbing fixtures to tap power from mountain streams with a few gallons per minute of flow.800 meters. Pelton wheels are made in all sizes. Pelton wheels can operate with heads as small as 15 meters and as high as 1. but these small units must have thirty meters or more of head.Hydro Power Plant Working ‡ Applications Peltons are the turbine of choice for high head.

. which means that the working fluid changes pressure as it moves through the turbine and gives up its energy. The design combines radial and axial features.Hydro Power Plant Working ‡ Kaplan Turbine The Kaplan turbine is an inward flow reaction turbine.

They cover the lowest head hydro sites and are especially suited for high flow conditions. typically over 90%. Large Kaplan turbines are individually designed for each site to operate at the highest possible efficiency. Inexpensive micro turbines are manufactured for individual power production with as little as two feet of head. but operate for decades. .Hydro Power Plant Working ‡ Applications Kaplan turbines are widely used throughout the world for electrical power production. They are very expensive to design. manufacture and install.

.Water Turbine ‡ Water turbine is a device that convert the energy in a stream of fluid into mechanical energy by passing the stream through a system of fixed and moving fan like blades and causing the latter to rotate. A turbine looks like a large wheel with many small radiating blades around its rim.

inward radial flow : having flow along the radius 3. .Classification of Water turbines ‡ According to the type of flow of water : The water turbines used as prime movers in hydro electric power stations are of four types. mixed flow : having radial inlet axial outlet If the runner blades of axial flow turbines are fixed. They are 1. tangential or peripheral : having flow along tangential direction 4. axial flow : having flow along shaft axis 2. those are called propeller turbines.

Pelton wheels and de Laval turbines use this process exclusively.Classification of Water turbines ‡ According to the action of water on moving blades water turbines are of 2 types namely impulse ad reaction type turbines. Impulse Turbines : These turbines change the direction of flow of a high velocity fluid jet. Before reaching the turbine the fluid's Pressure head is changed to velocity head by accelerating the fluid with a nozzle. The resulting impulse spins the turbine and leaves the fluid flow with diminished kinetic energy. . Impulse turbines do not require a pressure casement around the runner since the fluid jet is prepared by a nozzle prior to reaching turbine. There is no pressure change of the fluid in the turbine rotor blades. Newton's second law describes the transfer of energy for impulse turbines.

Classification of Water turbines ‡ Reaction Turbines : These turbines develop torque by reacting to the fluid's pressure or weight. Francis turbines and most steam turbines use this concept. . The casing contains and directs the working fluid and. A pressure casement is needed to contain the working fluid as it acts on the turbine stage(s) or the turbine must be fully immersed in the fluid flow (wind turbines). maintains the suction imparted by the draft tube. The pressure of the fluid changes as it passes through the turbine rotor blades. Newton's third law describes the transfer of energy for reaction turbines. for water turbines. multiple turbine stages may be used to harness the expanding gas efficiently. For compressible working fluids.

.low flow and low to medium head and high to medium discharge turbines.Classification of Water turbines ‡ According to the Head and quantity of water available the water turbines are of 2 types. Those are high head .

. ± Francis tubine and ± Kaplan turbine.Classification of Water turbines ‡ According to the name of the originator water turbines are of 3 types namely ± Pelton Wheel.

Classification of Hydro Electric Plants ‡ The classification of hydro electric plants based upon : (a) Quantity of water available (b) Available head (c) Nature of load .

during rainy season high flow rate may mean some quantity of water to go as waste while during low run-off periods. the plant uses water as it comes.Classification of Hydro Electric Plants ‡ The classification according to quantity of water available (i) Run-off river plants with out pondage : These plants does not store water.Since these plants depend for their generting capacity primarly on the rate of flow of water.the generating capacity will be low. .The plant can use water as and when available. due to low flow rates.

and is more useful than a plant with out storage or pondage. .Depending on the size of pondage provided it may be possible to cope with hour to hour fluctuations.This type of plant is comparitively more reliable and its generating capacity is less dependent on avilable rate of flow of water.thus reducing the head on the plant and impairing its effectiveness.Classification of Hydro Electric Plants ‡ (ii) Run-off river plants with pondage : In these plants pondage permits storage of water during off peak periods and use of this water during peak periods. When providing pondage tail race conditions should be such that floods do not raise tail-race water level.This type of plant can be used on parts of the load curve as required.

Its firm capacity can be increased and can be used either as a base load plant or as a peak load plant as required.Majority of the hydroelectric plants are of this type. .Classification of Hydro Electric Plants (iii) Reservoir Plants : A reservoir plant is that which has a reservoir of such size as to permit carrying over storage from wet season to the next dry season.It can also be used on any portion of the load curve as required.Such a plant has better capacity and can be used efficiently through out the year.Water is stored behind the dam and is available to the plant with control as required.

thus their electric output varies with seasonal flows of water in a river. or no dam and simply use the "run of the river".Classification of Hydro Electric Plants ‡ The classification according to availability of water head is (i) Low-Head (less than 30 meters) Hydro electric plants : "Low head" hydro-electric plants are power plants which generally utilize heads of only a few meters or less. Run of the river generating stations cannot store water. A large volume of water must pass through a low head hydro plant's turbines in order to produce a useful amount of power. . Power plants of this type may utilize a low dam or weir to channel water.000 Watts) are generally referred to as "small hydro". although hydro-electric technology is basically the same regardless of generating capacity. Hydro-electric facilities with a capacity of less than about 25 MW (1 MW = 1.000.

In fact. The Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in Washington (108 meters high. Dams are also used for flood control. recreation.for better or worse. These dams are true engineering marvels.300 meters) hydro electric plants : These plants consist of a large dam in a mountainous area which creates a huge reservoir. the American Society of Civil Engineers as designated Hoover Dam as one of the seven civil engineering wonders of the modern world. . irrigation. but the massive lakes created by these dams are a graphic example of our ability to manipulate the environment .Classification of Hydro Electric Plants ‡ (ii) Medium-head(30 meters . 380 meters wide. 1270 meters wide. Hydroelectric development is also possible in areas such as Niagra Falls where natural elevation changes can be used. and often are the main source of potable water for many communities. 9450 MW) and the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in Arizona/Nevada (220 meters high. 2000 MW) are good examples.

.Classification of Hydro Electric Plants ‡ (iii) High-head hydro electric plants : "High head" power plants are the most common and generally utilize a dam to store water at an increased elevation. Most large hydro-electric facilities are of the high head variety. This results in the consistent and reliable production of electricity. 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. Heads for this type of power plant may be greater than 1000 m. able to meet demand. The use of a dam to impound water also provides the capability of storing water during rainy periods and releasing it during dry periods.

Baseload power plants do not change production to match power consumption demands since it is always cheaper to run them rather than running high cost combined cycle plants or combustion turbines. they are more effective when used continuously to cover the power baseload required by the grid.Classification of Hydro Electric Plants ‡ The classification according to nature of load is (i) Base load plants : A base load power plant is one that provides a steady flow of power regardless of total power demand by the grid. making them slow to fire up and cool down. efficiency and safety at set outputs. Power plants are designated base load based on their low cost generation. These plants run at all times through the year except in the case of repairs or scheduled maintenance. Thus. . Typically these plants are large enough to provide a majority of the power used by a grid.

many dams are also used for flood control or irrigation. For a typical power system. The base load power is determined by the load duration curve of the system. . (ii) Peak load plants :Power plants for electricity generation which.very expensive to build. peaks or spikes in customer power demand are handled by smaller and more responsive types of power plants. so building costs can be shared.Classification of Hydro Electric Plants ‡ Each base load power plant on a grid is allotted a specific amount of the baseload power demand to handle. due to their operational and economic properties. Fluctuations. are used to cover the peak load. rule of thumb states that the base load power is usually 35-40% of the maximum load during the year.The efficiency of such plants is around 60 -70%.Load factor of such plants is high.However. Gas turbines and storage and pumped storage power plants are used as peak load power plants.

to produce electricity.Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Production and Usage ‡ 1. Hydroelectricity uses the energy of running water. without reducing its quantity. . all hydroelectric developments. Hydroelectricity is a renewable energy source. fit the concept of renewable energy. whether run of the river or of accumulated storage. of small or large size. Therefore.

.Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Production and Usage ‡ 2. Hydroelectricity makes it feasible to utilize other renewable sources. since they can immediately respond to fluctuations in the demand for electricity. The flexibility and storage capacity of hydroelectric power plants make them more efficient and economical in supporting the use of intermittent sources of renewable energy. such as solar energy or Aeolian energy. Hydroelectric power plants with accumulation reservoirs offer incomparable operational flexibility.

In addition to this. Hydroelectricity promotes guaranteed energy and price stability. . contrary to fuel or natural gas. it is the only large renewable source of electricity and its cost-benefit ratio. flexibility and reliability assist in optimizing the use of thermal power plants. is not subject to market fluctuations. efficiency. River water is a domestic resource which.Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Production and Usage ‡ 3.

which can then be used for consumption or for irrigation. Hydroelectric power plant reservoirs collect rainwater. In storing water. Hydroelectricity contributes to the storage of drinking water. they protect the water tables against depletion and reduce our vulnerability to floods and droughts.Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Production and Usage ‡ 4. .

and quickly re-establish supply after a blackout. Hydroelectricity increases the stability and reliability of electricity systems. thus maintaining the balance between the electricity supply and demand. Energy generated by hydroelectric installations can be injected into the electricity system faster than that of any other energy source. The operation of electricity systems depends on rapid and flexible generation sources to meet peak demands. .Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Production and Usage ‡ 5. The capacity of hydroelectric systems to reach maximum production from zero in a rapid and foreseeable manner makes them exceptionally appropriate for addressing alterations in the consumption and providing ancillary services to the electricity system. maintain the system voltage levels.

In emitting less GHG than power plants driven by gas. . The hydroelectric life cycle produces very small amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG). coal or oil.4 million barrels of petroleum per day worldwide. today hydroelectricity prevents the emission of GHG corresponding to the burning of 4. hydroelectricity can help retard global warming. Hydroelectricity helps fight climate changes. Although only 33% of the available hydroelectric potential has been developed.Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Production and Usage ‡ 6.

. Hydroelectric power plants don't release pollutants into the air. thus reducing acid rain and smog. hydroelectric developments don't generate toxic by-products. In addition to this.Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Production and Usage ‡ 7. Hydroelectricity improves the air we breathe. They very frequently substitute the generation from fossil fuels.

Hydroelectricity offers a significant contribution to development. . highways. It offers a vast potential and is available where development is most necessary. industry and commerce to communities. Its impacts are well understood and manageable through measures for mitigating and compensating the damages. Hydroelectric installations bring electricity. expanding access to health and education.Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Production and Usage ‡ 8. and improving the quality of life. Hydroelectricity is a technology that has been known and proven for more than a century. thus developing the economy.

They can be easily upgraded to incorporate more recent technologies and have very low operating and maintenance costs. hydroelectric developments are longterm investments that can benefit various generations. . With an average lifetime of 50 to 100 years.Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Production and Usage ‡ 9. Hydroelectricity means clean and cheap energy for today and for tomorrow.

"development that today addresses people's needs without compromising the capacity of future generations for addressing their own needs" (World Commission on the Environment and Development. environmentally sensible and socially responsible represent the best concept of sustainable development. . 1987). Hydroelectric enterprises that are developed and operated in a manner that is economically viable.Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Production and Usage ‡ 10. That means. Hydroelectricity is a fundamental instrument for sustainable development.

and natural habitats in the dam area. hydropower facilities can have large environmental impacts by changing the environment and affecting land use. However. homes. .Hydropower and the Environment ‡ Hydropower is nonpolluting. but does have environmental impacts ‡ Hydropower does not pollute the water or the air.

and archeological sites. These changes may harm native plants and animals in the river and on land. Operating a hydroelectric power plant may also change the water temperature and the river's flow.Hydropower and the Environment ‡ Most hydroelectric power plants have a dam and a reservoir. These structures may obstruct fish migration and affect their populations. agricultural land. a strong greenhouse gas. . Methane. Reservoirs may cover people's homes. may also form in some reservoirs and be emitted to the atmosphere. So building dams can require relocating people. important natural areas.

The trend for the future will probably be to build small-scale hydro plants that can generate electricity for a single community. which all takes a LOT of money. In fact. In the early part of the century hydroelectric plants supplied a bit less than one-half of the nation's power. time. . most of the good spots to locate hydro plants have already been taken. and construction. but the number is down to about 10 percent today.Hydropower and the Environment ‡ So why don't we use it to produce all of our power? Mainly because you need lots of water and a lot of land where you can build a dam and reservoir.

water is not consumed during electrical production.Impacts and Trends ‡ Hydroelectric power is a clean source of renewable energy where an adequate water source is readily available. Hydropower plants provide inexpensive electricity without environmental pollution such as air emissions or waste byproducts. but can be reused for other purposes. . And. unlike other energy sources such as fossil fuels .

hydropower plants that rely on impoundments can negatively affect the reservoir site and the surrounding area. .Impacts and Trends ‡ However. New reservoirs will permanently flood valleys that may have contained towns. and farmland. new and different habitat is created. however. Hydropower operations that use run-ofthe-river dams can block the passage of migrating fish. scenic locations. The permanent inundation also destroys fish and wildlife habitat that once existed at the reservoir site. such as salmon.