Water covers well over 70% of the Earth’s surface, yet somehow, this simple substance is vital to the continuation of animals, plants, and humans alike. As well, water can also be used as a good source of electricity, it can be harnessed to generate energy for a community.
Hydro alternative energy is caused by the hydrologic cycle of water, generated through gravitational force. The flow or fall of water will determine the quantity of available energy. A large river with a steady stream of fast flowing water can provide a large amount of energy that is equal to that of water falling from a high elevation.
Hydro-power plants are common throughout the entire world. Hydro-power is said to be one of the oldest energy sources around. As this process produces no direct waste, it is certainly one of the cleanest and greenest ways to generate electricity.
Hydro alternative energy is produced from dammed water that turns a water turbine and generator. The energy produced is determined by the volume of water, along with the difference in height between the source and the outflow of water.
Moving water between reservoirs of different heights is essential in generating power. When the demand for electricity is low, water is pumped to the high reservoir. Once the demand rises, water will be released back to the lower reservoir to turn the turbine.
Hydroelectric plants do not only supply power to the main power grid. In some places, it can also be used to power up industrial plants, such as those found in the United States, Iceland, New Zealand, and the Scottish Highlands.
Hydro alternative energy plants come in various sizes. They can either be small scale or large scale, depending on the water source and the demand for electricity. Small hydro-power plants can generate up to 10 megawatts, which is ideal to power flood control and irrigation systems. This type of hydro-power plant is common in China, as over half of these smaller plants are located in that area.
Hydro alternative energy eliminates the use of fossil fuel to generate electricity. That means that the cost of operating a hydroelectric plant is not dependent on the price of fossil fuels. As long as the water level remains constant, power will be produced.
Hydro alternative energy doesn’t produce waste products while producing electricity. It is a clean and green way of producing energy, as it doesn’t pollute the air or water like fossil fuels.
The labor cost of this type of power plant is low because not many people are needed to run the plant. Construction costs are also low, and the dam can serve different purposes asides from purely producing electricity.