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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Hydropower Energy, 3 common Myths & Facts

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hydropower
Photo by Aliaksandr Shyliayeu on Pexels.com

Hydropower is the harnessing of waterpower by the driving of falling water. It also refers to hydraulic power, a term which has been defined as “a form of mechanical power generated by the pressure in liquid or gas.

The source used to produce hydropower is called an “upland”, which could be anything from a mountainous area to a dammed river. The water that runs through the upland contains potential energy. In hydropower plants, this potential energy will turn into an electrical generator, which can then power homes and businesses in the community.

According to the World Energy Council, between 50% and 70% of all electricity worldwide comes from hydropower generation. Since 1920, the United States has been the top producer of hydropower at more than 800 billion kilowatt-hours produced per year. However, in 2009 China passed the U.S. and became the world’s largest hydropower producer with more than 170 billion kilowatt-hours of production.

Although the spread of this energy uses, There’s lots of misinformation out there about it, so in this article, we’ll be clarifying and putting an end to any confusion about what is a fact and what is a myth, follow along with us!

Taken on August 23, 2020 – Gigantic hydropower project on the Yangtze river, in Yichang, central China’s Hubei province.

Myth #1 Hydropower is not a renewable energy source.

Hydropower uses a fuel—water—that is not reduced or used up in the process. Because the water cycle is endless and driven by the sun, constantly recharging system,  hydropower is considered renewable energy. In addition to this, hydropower is the cleanest resource among all electricity resources and it has one of the lowest lifecycle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per kWh.

Around 60 percent of all renewable electricity is generated by hydropower. The sector produces about 16 percent of total electricity generation from all sources including nuclear and fossil fuels.No country has come close to achieving 100% renewables without hydropower in the energy mix. In the United States, Hydropower is typically the only viable renewable alternative in places where sun and wind are not ideal.

Myth #2: Hydroelectric power plants must be massive in order to be effective.

When most people think of hydropower they imagine Hoover Dam, a gigantic facility that stores electricity in the waterholes throughout the river, but hydroelectric plants are tiny and use water flowing through urban water systems or irrigation ditches. Hydroelectric plants, such as dams, are less about diversions along rivers and more about channeling part of a river to a power plant so that it can flow back into the main river. 

With the help of modern technology solutions, distributed hydropower projects can be developed and operated and networked into large-scale, cost-effective virtual power plants.
As stated in a recent NREL cost analysis of distributed interconnected hydro projects associated with the creation of virtual power plants,
the study showed that the reduction in revenue from operational changes required to achieve environmental goals was small, less than 4%.

Myth #3 :Hydropower is not carbon-neutral

One of the primary reactions you will find out about hydropower is that it creates more ozone-harming substances than a fossil fuel station of the same size. Soil and vegetation trapped in the turbines and spillways emit methane and carbon dioxide when they decay.
With appropriate controls and plans, a hydropower dam can be worked to be totally perfect, these methane emanations can be disposed of.
What Statics has shown is that Hydropower is among the cleanest sources of electricity, with a low greenhouse gas emission intensity compared to other energy forms (as shown in the graph below).
Independent research suggests that the use of hydropower instead of fossil fuels for electricity generation has helped to avoid more than 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in the past 50 years alone, exceeding even the emissions averted by nuclear power.

That’s roughly equivalent to the total annual carbon footprint of the United States for 20 years.

benefit of hydropower

Conclusion

On the whole, as the world moves towards a 100% inexhaustible future, hydropower’s reliability and sustainability are close to being the ideal solution. Some specialists see that cooperation with other renewables will be key to hydro’s success in the future with a potential to support more than 195,000 jobs across the nation in 2050.

I predict the electricity generated by water power is the only thing that is going to keep future generations from freezing. Now we use coal whenever we produce electric power by steam engine, but there will be a time when there’ll be no more coal to use. That time is not in the very distant future.

Charles Proteus Steinmetz

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Christy Bell
She loves writing about environmental protection and green energy. Apart from her daily job she's working for volunteer organizations.
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