Hydropower is another name for hydroelectric power. It is one of the world’s largest and oldest methods of generating electricity through renewable sources of energy. It is a way of generating electricity with the flow of moving water. Hydropower is both sustainable and renewable, and using hydroelectric power to generate electricity is just one facet of its many uses. Hydropower is not only renewable but also a clean source of energy. But as everything has its advantages and disadvantages, so does hydropower. This article will discuss both advantages and disadvantages of hydropower.
Top 6 Advantages of Hydropower
Some of the advantages of hydropower electricity are as follows:
#1 Readily Available
One of the most significant advantages of hydropower or hydroelectric power is its availability. Earlier, it was prohibited to use hydropower for domestic use. Still, with the increasing use of this energy today, mini hydro plants are being considered to be used by trained users. With this, domestic users can meet their energy requirements through hydropower.
#2 Renewable Sources of Energy
Hydropower is a renewable energy source, and it is generated by the fast flow of water, whereas fossil fuels are burned to generate electricity. Thus, hydropower is not only feasible but also environmentally friendly.
#3 Affordable Source of Energy
The cheapest and most feasible source of energy is hydropower or hydroelectric power. Installing a hydroelectric plant is expensive and challenging in the initial years, but it is the most affordable form of energy in the long run.
#4 Creates Job
The development of hydropower facilities, particularly in areas with significant unemployment, helps in providing several job opportunities. This enhances the general living standards of the people living in the area. As a result, there is a direct impact on the gross domestic product, eventually leading to the nation’s economic growth.
#5 Produces Enormous Amounts of Energy
Hydropower plants can meet the peak demands for electricity if needed. The energy capacity of hydropower is unmatched. The water available at high altitudes has massive gravitational potential energy. Even a tiny part of this energy can meet the requirements of millions of people.
#6 Contributes to the growth of Remote Towns
Hydroelectric power facilities provide electricity to remote towns while attracting massive infrastructural development through highways, buildings, industry, and trade. These activities help improve the economy of these outlying towns, expand access to essential services, and improve the citizens’ general quality of life.
Top 6 Disadvantages of Hydropower
As said earlier, there are advantages and disadvantages of hydropower. Some of the disadvantages are as follows:
#1 Infrastructure is Expensive
Hydroelectric power facilities and dams may be quite costly to build. Furthermore, the projects take significant time to complete, increasing the cost. Further, the plant will need to be operational for a long time to recover the funds invested in construction.
#2 Negative Impact on the Environment
Hydropower creates a disturbance in the flow of water bodies and disrupts the natural vegetation. Disturbing the fish migration destroys the environment.
#3 A Risky Affair
Building hydropower infrastructure is only sometimes safe. Despite being an affordable and renewable energy source, it has various risks. Construction failures and dam breaking up can result in losing money and lives. Thus, it’s only sometimes safe to build this infrastructure.
#4 Relocation of Residents
Setting up hydropower infrastructure requires enormous land and destroys communities and villages. They lose the compensation provided to them.
#5 Vulnerable To Droughts
Hydropower is the most dependable renewable energy source; it is limited by the volume of water in any area. As a result, a drought might significantly impact the functioning of a hydroelectric plant. This may become more regular due to climatic changes, which heat the earth’s surface, thus increasing the incidence of drought.
#6 Limited Location To Setup The Plant
While hydropower is inexhaustible, there are just a few areas where plants can be built. Also, several of these locations are far from big cities that may fully benefit from the energy.
Hydro has been gradually rising as the globe moves away from relying on fossil fuels for electricity. It is important to note that there are advantages and disadvantages of hydropower. But, compared to the threat of climate change, it is unquestionably superior to any fossil fuel plant. Nevertheless, with so many hydropower plants planned worldwide, it is more crucial than ever to grasp the drawbacks.
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