Hydroelectric energy is produced when flowing water is allowed to move through running turbines which then generates electrical energy. Hydroelectric power generation is the first renewable source of energy at a large-scale level in the U.S and it accounted to more than thirty-per cent of the country’s energy requirements way back 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.
Investing in hydroelectric energy has the following advantages. The first advantage is that the resource to be used that is water is free and can be readily accessed as compared to fossil fuels which are hard to come by and expensive. The second reason why you should consider investing in hydroelectric power generation is because of its high efficiency in converting captured energy to electrical energy which stands at around 90%.Thirdly the hydroelectric energy investment is good because the power generation has no water,land or air pollution as compared to other sources of energy that causes pollution and increase global warming.The fourth advantage of investing in the hydroelectric energy is that the process is renewable because when water which is used to run turbines evaporates,it falls back naturally as rain. Fifthly,the hydroelectric power generation has proven to be highly useful in improving the environmental quality through the provision of high quality water that can be used to irrigate farms and the process also creates large habitats for fish and other aquatic life.The sixth reason for the investment on hydroelectric energy is the fact that the investor is able to keep up with demand by establishing new power plants on the existing power dams. The seventh pro of investing in hydroelectric energy is that alongside power generation, you can set up recreational amenities for holidaymakers such as camping, water sports and fishing.As compared to other sources of energy such as natural gas or coal,hydroelectric energy is more cost-effective.
The cons of hydropower generation are highlighted below.First,the process of hydroelectric power generation has the potential to destroy natural habitats. The second disadvantage to hydroelectric power generation is that there are some large amounts of methane and carbon IV oxide emission that occurs when the plants and trees rot without using oxygen around the dam. The other cons that limits the investment in hydroelectric power is the risk of flooding that it poses to people and structures around the dam,its dependence on heavy rain to get more water for maximum power generation and the high cost of installation.