When water is allowed to flow over running turbines there is the generation of electrical energy which is referred to as the hydroelectric energy. Hydropower is one of the oldest large-scale renewable energy sources which contributed a third of all energy needs in the US in the 1940s.The exploration and investment in other energy sources has reduced the dependence of hydropower in the united states to around 6%.
Before investing in the hydroelectric energy is important to look at its advantages and disadvantages which has environmental and economic implications.
The following are some of the advantages of investing in the hydroelectric energy. To begin with,water which is the basic component of hydropower generation is free and readily available unlike fossil fuels which are expensive and difficult to get. Secondly the hydroelectric energy generation is highly efficient in conversion of energy where about 90% of the tapped energy is converted to electrical energy.The third attractive thing about hydroelectric power generation is that it has no water,air or land pollution which makes it better as compared to other forms of energy which contributes to global warming and causes other environmental pollution.Fourthly,the water that is utilized to run turbines when it evaporates,it falls back as rain hence the hydroelectric energy is renewable. The fifth advantage of investing in the hydroelectric energy is that it improves the quality of the environment by contributing to quality water for irrigation and providing larger and better habitats for aquatic life.The sixth good side of making investments on hydroelectric energy is the ability to continuously meet new demands through putting up additional power plants in the already existing hydropower dams. The seventh advantage of investing in hydroelectric power generation is that the investor can also set up recreational facilities in addition to power generation which attracts holidaymakers for camping,water sports and fishing.The other advantage of investing in hydropower is that it is cost effective when compared to other source of energy such as natural gas and coal.
The following are the disadvantages of investing in hydroelectric power generation.First,the process of hydroelectric power generation has the potential to destroy natural habitats. The second con is that the hydroelectric power generation have been known to emit some reasonable quantities of Carbon IV oxide and methane as a result of rotting of trees and plants without the use of oxygen in the the power plant. The other disadvantages of investing in hydroelectric energy are the facts that it relies on heavy rainfall to generate maximum power,it poses great danger to the neighbouring people and structures due to its flood riskiness and that the cost of installation is high.