Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What is hydropower - Hydropower definition

Hydropower is renewable energy source with very long tradition, used in many countries all over the world.

Hydropower is often referred to as water power. The simplest definition of hydropower would be the power that derives from the force of energy of the moving water.

Hydropower is widely used to generate electricity, in fact hydropower currently satisfies approximately 8% of U.S. electricity demand.

Hydropower doesn't only refer to large hydroelectric power plants, it also includes small and micro hydro systems.

Large hydroelectric power plants can have negative environmental impact while small and micro hydro systems have very low environmental impact.

The United States currently has more than 2,000 hydroelectric power plants.

Hydropower currently accounts for approximately 50% of U.S. total renewable electricity generation.

The largest hydroelectric power plant in the United States is the 6,800-megawatt Grand Coulee power station on the Columbia River in Washington State. The largest hydroelectric power plant in the world is China's Three Gorges Dam.

The first U.S. hydroelectric power plant was opened on the Fox River near Appleton, Wisconsin, on September 30, 1882.

Not all dams in United States were built to generate electricity, they were also designed for irrigation and flood prevention.

Large hydroelectric power plants are connected with significant construction costs. This means that there is a long waiting time for large hydroelectric power plants to return investment and start bringing profits.

Hydropower is clean, renewable energy source that doesn't contribute to climate change and global warming like burning of the fossil fuels does.

Hydropower is one of the most reliable renewable energy sources with very good efficiency.

Hydroelectric power plants last for very long time.

Hydropower does not produce waste like this is the case with some other energy sources (nuclear energy).

Large dams can sometimes lead to disruption of the natural flow of rivers, stream levels, flow patterns, temperature of the water, all of which can hurt river ecosystems.

At the beginning of 2012 global hydropower capacity accounted for approximately 740 GW.
Much of global hydropower potential still remains untapped so hydropower has great potential for many countries all over the world.

Around seven percent of U.S. total power is currently being produced by hydroelectric plants.

Hydroelectric power plants today exist in 34 U.S. states.

Harnessing more hydropower would improve our energy independence and energy security by decreasing the need for expensive foreign fuel import.

U.S. is third largest hydropower producer in the world, behind China and Canada.

New hydropower projects could give boost to our economy by providing many new construction jobs.