Advantages and Disadvantages of HYDRAULIC ENERGY - with VIDEO

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Hydraulic power is a type of renewable energy that allows us to obtain electricity in a way as simple as using the water stored in the reservoirs. It is an energy that has a large number of advantages, but also some disadvantages. In fact, it is a type of energy that is especially recommended when it comes to offering a continuous energy supply, although very specific and limited. If you want to know a little more about the advantages and disadvantages of hydropower, as well as some technical aspects about how this type of energy works, continue reading Green Ecologist and we will tell you about it.

What is hydropower and how does it work

Before I start talking about positive and negative effects of hydropower, we will talk briefly about what it is and how it works.

Hydraulic power is a type of energy obtained from water stored in reservoirs. These reservoirs are made up of a natural space (usually a valley) through which a river flows. In one of the strategic points of the valley, a dam which has a double function.

On the one hand, the dam serves to store the water, turning the initial river into a reservoir of great proportions and, on the other, the dam has a system that allows the water to fall from the highest points of the same. In this way, when the water falls, it is passed through a series of turbines that begin to rotate due to the effect of the falling water. Consequently, the Turbine rotation produces electricity, so we get hydroelectric power that is sent directly to the places where the human being needs it.

To further expand this information, keep reading this article and don't miss this video by Ecologist Verde on what hydropower is.

Advantages of hydropower

As we have mentioned, the energy obtained from the movement of water against the turbines has several advantages and, because of them, it is widely used today, but in reality it has been used for a very long time. These are the main advantages of hydropower:

It is a renewable energy

One of the main advantages of hydraulic energy is that it constitutes renewable energy. As energy is obtained from falling water, and water is obtained from rain, it is an energy that will always be available, since its use does not entail a possible depletion of the resource thanks to the evaporation and rain cycle of the water itself.

It is a clean energy

On the other hand, in addition to being a renewable energy, it is also a clean energy. The use of hydraulic energy does not entail the production of waste of any kind, which makes it a way of obtaining energy that does not entail the generation of physical or chemical waste, as well as greenhouse gases.

It has a very stable energy production

In addition, unlike other types of renewable energy, hydraulic energy has the advantage that its electricity production is very stable. In the case of wind or solar energy, on days when there is no wind or the sky is cloudy, its production stops. However, this does not happen with hydropower, since the water it uses to produce electricity comes from rainwater, but from rainwater that has previously been stored in the respective reservoirs. Therefore, if it does not rain one day, electricity can continue to be produced because there is stored water.

Flexible production thanks to water flow

On the other hand, in addition to being a very stable energy in its production, it also has a flexible and adaptable production. To do this, it is enough to regulate the flow of water that is allowed to pass, with which it is achieved that the turbines generate more or less energy as required at all times.

It is a completely safe energy

Finally, it cannot be overlooked that it is a completely safe energy. By not producing polluting waste that affects health and by not leading to possible accidents, as is the case with nuclear energy, we are facing one of the safest energies that we can use.

Disadvantages of hydropower

Finally, although it is a type of energy that has many advantages, it is also convenient to know what they are the disadvantages and disadvantages of hydropower:

It depends on the rains and droughts

It is, perhaps, the greatest of its disadvantages. While it is true that it is a renewable energy, it is also true that it depends directly on the cycles of rains and droughts. In this way, it is an energy that offers very good results in times of abundant rains but that, in periods of droughts, is not useful to meet the energy demand.

Limited places for installation

Likewise, it cannot be overlooked that, unlike what can happen with solar energy or wind energy, hydraulic energy depends on the conditions of the land to be usable. In this way, different hydroelectric plants can be installed on the same river. But, despite this, it must be taken into account that it will be necessary to have a sufficient height so that the fall of the water can be useful, as well as an adequate orography for the creation of the corresponding hydroelectric plants.

Environmental impact

On the other hand, one of the most important disadvantages that cannot be ignored of hydropower is that, despite being a clean and renewable energy, it carries a considerable impact on the environment, especially on river ecosystems. To make use of hydraulic energy, it is necessary to build a hydraulic power station, which implies its respective dam. This means cutting off the natural flow of the river, which has a significant negative impact on the fauna that inhabits it. Likewise, the construction of a reservoir entails the transformation of a terrestrial ecosystem into another aquatic one and, although the transformation can have positive effects, it is undeniable that it implies the destruction of the previous terrestrial ecosystem.

The initial investment is expensive

Finally, another of the disadvantages of hydraulic energy is that its initial cost is very high. The construction of hydroelectric plants involves a considerable capital deployment, as well as a considerable amount of time from the initial project design until it is carried out and started up. However, it is also true that, once the hydroelectric plant is completed, the energy that is obtained is cheap.

If you want to learn about more types of energy in water, we recommend you read these other articles on What is and how does mini-hydraulic energy work, Blue or osmotic energy: what is it, advantages and disadvantages, What is the kinetic energy of water and What is the wave energy.

If you want to read more articles similar to Advantages and disadvantages of hydropower, we recommend that you enter our category of Renewable Energies.

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