Content creator and SEO expert, but in private life, I'm a great protector of the environment.
Hydroelectric power plants with dams have both advantages and disadvantages
Hydroelectric power plants with dams are a major source of renewable, clean and free electricity for the local communities, but at the same time, they have a great impact on local ecosystems by affecting migratory fish, the quality of the water in the reservoir.
At the same time, local communities can be relocated at the construction of the dam or in case of a major flood in the area.
Hoover Dam between the U.S. states Nevada and Arizona
The Working Principle of Hydroelectric Power Plants
Hydroelectric power plants require the presence of a dam to hold a large volume of water in a reservoir, or a fast river, to divert some of its water for clean energy production.
In the case of hydroelectric power plants with dams, the higher the dam and the drop of water, the more energy can be generated.
In the case of hydroelectric power plants installed on fast rivers, they don't require a dam, but they do require a large and rapid volume of water that is available all year along or at least most of the year.
All hydroelectric power plants (with or without a dam), use the kinetic energy present in the falling or fast moving water, which is turned into mechanical energy (the spinning turbines) and then into electrical energy (clean electricity produced by large generators connected to the turbines).
Rapid Rivers Invaded by Hydroelectric Power Plants
If you like whitewater kayaking, I'm sure that you've already traveled in several places of the planet to practice this recreational sport on fast rivers along with others.
However, in your search for a fast river or other body of whitewater, I'm sure that you've encountered not one, but many hydroelectric power plants built on the same river where you want to spend some time kayaking with your friends.
The problem with these rivers is created by the volume of fast water that is interesting both for kayakers, but also for hydroelectric companies.
These companies are moving faster than ordinary people and they've already built power plants on these rivers to harness their potential to generate clean power.
Is Hydro Beneficial for the Environment?
Supporters of the renewable energy sector say that hydroelectric power plants are very beneficial for mankind because they represent a reliable source of clean and renewable electricity.
More than that, hydropower can be produced on demand (when needed), and this is the role of the dam that stores a large volume of water in the reservoir.
When energy production is requested because the grid is at peak demand, water is released from the reservoir, and travels through the dam and turbines to a basin located in front of the dam.
When released from the dam, water spins the turbines of the power plant and generates power.
Once water released, energy production starts in a matter of seconds, which means that this form of renewable energy is not only reliable, but is also very efficient.
However, the construction of the dam to hold the huge volume of water in the reservoir changes the entire habitat in the area because it has a great impact on the entire ecosystem of the river.
The dam and the water reservoir attached can affect even large communities of people living downstream.
These communities can live in a constant danger of flooding, and if their activity is based on fishing, they could be seriously affected by the presence of the dam because migratory fish are blocked from reaching their spawning grounds.
The Current Technology Used For Hydro Should Be Changed
It is more than obvious that the current technology used to build hydroelectric power plants with or without a dam should be changed to be more friendly with the environment.
We are talking about the benefits of hydropower because is a great source of renewable energy, but we forget the fact that dams have caused a lot of issues to local ecosystems and human communities.
The problem is created by the fact that hydroelectric companies are planning to build even more hydroelectric power plants an all rivers of the planet, and without changing the way we build these power plants, the environment and the local communities will continue to suffer.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Dario Savin