Benefits of Hydropower
Hydropower is a popular source of energy since it is fueled by water. Hydropower is a clean source of energy that doesn’t pollute the environment in any way as compared to power plants which burn fossils fuels, like natural gas and coal. Hydropower mainly relies on water cycle driven by the sun and hence is a great renewable source of energy, and is readily available when needed since the flow of water in the turbines can be controlled to produce electricity when required. In addition to providing clean electricity, hydropower plants create reservoirs which offer various recreational opportunities, notably swimming, boating and fishing. Here are the common benefits of hydropower:
1. Produce electricity
Hydropower can be used to provide electricity when needed, and when electricity generation is not needed, the sluice gates are shut. The water is saved and then used again when demand for electricity is high.
2. Reliable energy
Hydropower dams are constructed solely for the purpose of generating electricity, therefore they can last for decades without wear.
3. Leisure activities
Hydropower reservoirs or lake provide various recreational facilities, such as water sports, fishing, boating, and swimming among others. Huge reservoirs also serve as great tourist attractions.
4. Irrigation purposes
The reservoir water can also be used for purposes of irrigation especially in arid areas. In fact, hydropower reservoirs are popularly used in Egypt for irrigation.
5. Clean source of energy
Electricity produced by hydropower does not in any way produce harmful green-house gases. This simply means that hydropower is a clean source of energy since it does not pollute the environment.
Dams are very expensive to create since they have to be of high standard. High cost of construction means that hydropower dams have to operate for many years in order to become profitable. On the other hand, reservoirs have also been known to overflow and destroy plant vegetation in the process.