Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydropower

Advantages of Hydropower:

Hydro power is a very efficient source of renewable energy.  Hydropower systems are very efficient because of the density of water, the force of gravity and the technological advantages of today.  These systems can covert up to 90% of the energy of water into electric energy, which is an astonishing number.

With this high efficiency the cost of hydroelectricity has dropped with evolving technologies, and is estimated to be about 40% less expensive than using fossil fuels.

Since hydro power is fueled by water, it has the advantage of being only used when needed, because it is easy to control the storage and allowable flow of water into a hydro power system.

Hydro power has an advantage over wind power because water is more dense than air, so collecting the mechanical energy of wind requires a greater force of wind to rotate the turbine than it would for water in a hydro power system.

Disadvantages of Hydropower:

A big disadvantage of hydropower is the negative impacts that a large-scale dam and reservoir hydro system has on the environment.  (Impact of hydropower on the environment)

Hydropower is, like other sources of renewable energy, very expensive to implement, so it takes a long amount of time before a hydropower system will begin to return profits on the original cost of the investment.

The advantages and disadvantages of hydropower are clear.  It takes proper planning discipline and often high cost to create a well running system.  But the advantages will have a more positive benefit in the long run.

The US department of energy understands about the advantages and disadvantages of hydropower and how the United States can help improve our impact on the energy supply.  The US is looking to add and diversify our use of hydropower in our country