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What Is Hydroelectricity? What are the Pros and Cons?

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´╗┐What is Hydroelectricity? Hydroelectricity, in the simplest of terms, is the electricity that is generated using flowing water, or that water which is stored in a reservoir. In both cases however, the basic fundamental principle of power generation remains the same. here is an explanation of how hydroelectricity is generated. A large volume of water is stored in a reservoir at a high altitude. A power generation plant, consisting of multiple turbines is constructed downstream, at a much lower altitude. The reservoir and the power generation plant are connected by large pipelines. When water is released from the reservoir, it flows down at a high speed towards the turbine. Naturally, the speed at which the water flows down will be directly proportional to the difference between the altitudes of the reservoir and the turbine. ...read more.


2. In terms of reliability and consistency, hydroelectricity is way ahead of its other renewable energy counterparts. Hydroelectric power is a preferred choice of power, not just for small scale industries, but also for heavy duty industries and manufacturing plants. 3. Hydroelectric power is completely independent of fossil fuels or other perishable resources. It does not involve any combustion or burning of fuel, coal, etc. and therefore, does not release any toxic chemicals in the atmosphere and nor does it create any harmful byproducts. 4. Unlike many other forms of energy, power generation is almost instantaneous in case of hydroelectricity. In a hydroelectric power plant, starting the turbine or stopping it is a process that hardly takes a few minutes (sometimes even seconds). ...read more.


2. There is always the theoretical risk of the reservoir giving way in the event of unexpected heavy and prolonged torrential rain. Although such incidents are rare, if they indeed do happen, they can cause mass damage to livelihood. 3. In some cases, constructing a reservoir or damming a river at a certain location may lead to adverse ecological effects on its immediate surroundings. 4. Since the amount of power generated depends largely on the altitude difference between the reservoir and the turbine, finding a suitable place for both the reservoir and the turbine often becomes a problem. 5. Droughts can have a severely adverse impact on hydroelectric power generation. 6. Silt is a problem that adversely affects quite a few reservoirs, and consequently, the respective hydroelectric power plants as well. ...read more.

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