Advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric power plants

Advantages of hydroelectric power plants

  • The operation of the HPP is not accompanied by the release of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur, dust pollutants and other harmful waste, does not pollute the soil. Some of the heat generated by the friction of the moving parts of the turbine is transferred to the flowing water, but this amount is rarely large.
  • Water is a renewable source of energy. At least until the streams and rivers are dry. The hydrological cycle (the water cycle in nature) replenishes the sources of potential energy due to rain, snow and water.
  • The capacity of HPPs is easy to control, changing the speed of the water flow (the volume of water supplied to the turbines).
  • The reservoirs constructed for hydroelectric stations can be used as recreation areas, sometimes a truly breathtaking landscape forms around them.
  • Water in artificial reservoirs, as a rule, is clean, since impurities settle on the bottom. This water can be used for drinking, washing, bathing and irrigation.

Disadvantages of hydroelectric power plants

  • Large reservoirs flood significant areas of land that could be used for other purposes. Entire cities were the victims of the reservoirs, which caused massive relocations, discontent and economic difficulties.
  • The destruction or accident of the dam of a large hydropower plant almost inevitably causes a catastrophic flood downstream the river.
  • The construction of hydroelectric power plants is inefficient in the flat areas.
  • Extensive drought reduces and can even interrupt the production of electricity. HES.
  • The level of water in artificial reservoirs is constantly and dramatically changing. On their banks to build country houses is not worth it!
  • The dam reduces the level of dissolved oxygen in the water, as the normal flow of the river practically stops. This can lead to the death of fish in an artificial reservoir and endanger the plant life in the reservoir itself and around it.
  • The dam may disturb the spawning cycle of the fish. This problem can be dealt with by constructing fish vessels and fish lifts in a dam or moving fish to spawning places with the help of traps and nets. However, this leads to an increase in the cost of construction and operation of hydroelectric power stations.

Given all the problems of using natural fuels and nuclear energy for electricity production, why not build more hydroelectric power plants? There are a lot of rivers in the world. Is it not worthwhile to build as many hydropower stations as possible?

Most places for the construction of hydroelectric power stations are already in use. The number of dams and reservoirs that can be built on the river is limited. The energy selected by the power station near the river can no longer be used downstream. If there are too many power stations on the river, economic conflicts associated with the distribution of energy are imminent.

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