Hydropower By: Zach Riedy
Hydropower • Electricity generated by harnessing the power of the gravitational force of moving water. • It is the most widely used form of renewable energy.
Main Goals • To create a renewable source of energy that is not only reliable, but also clean and environmentally friendly. • To create an alternative energy source to fossil fuels. Hoover Dam
Potential • Hydropower has been used for hundreds of years starting with simple water wheels and watermills. • Hydroelectric power now supplies about 750,000 megawatts, or about 19% of the worlds electricity. • Hydropower makes up 99.1% of all the renewable energy sources used.
How It Works ElectricalEnergy PotentialEnergy Electricity KineticEnergy Mechanical Energy
Hydroelectric Dams • There are still large dams being built, but fewer and fewer good sites remain in the world to install new capacity. • In the U.S. we have dammed up almost all major rivers, but there are still sites where small-scale hydro or micro-hydro power plants can be created. • Hydroelectricity supplies the U.S. with 7.5% of our power needs.
Gordon Dam • Located on the Gordon River in Tasmania, this dam meets 13% of the islands power needs.
Three Gorges Dam • The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China is the worlds largest dam, spanning over 7,600 ft. with a height of 600 ft.. • It be fully functional sometime in 2011 after being under construction since 1994. • The dam will supply China with over 22,500 megawatts of power. • The construction of Three Gorges Dam has met with a lot of criticism due to its potential environmental issues.
Advantages of Hydropower • Hydropower is fueled by water, so it’s a clean fuel source. • It doesn’t pollute like fossil fuel burning power plants. • Dependent on the water cycle, which is renewable. • Well developed technology. • Creates large reservoirs that can serve as recreational areas.
Environmental Disadvantages of Hydropower • Can block the travel and migration of wildlife. • Destroys forests, agricultural land, and recreation areas by creating a large reservoir. • Alters stream flow causing disruptions in plant and animal ecology. • Can displace homes that lie within the rivers new flood plain.
Potential Economic Obstacles • Dams are a huge investment as they are expensive to build and have long construction periods. • In modern times they are relatively cheap to operate due to high levels of automation. • Many dams are/were built to last only 50 years so the cost to repair them is high as well.
Bibliography • www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-and-you/affect/hydro.html • library.thinkquest.org/26366/text/alternative/hydro.html • http://www.actewagl.com.au/Education/energy/RenewableEnergy/Hydroelectricity/AdvantagesOfHydro.aspx • http://www.energyrefuge.com/archives/hydro-electricity.htm