Hydroelectric power is a clean source of renewable energy. This beneficial power source has been utilized in developed nations such as the US for many decades but its potential has not been fully realized in third-world countries. Due to its relatively low operating expense, local farm irrigation, flood prevention and other benefits, hydroelectric power is advantageous to people, land and the environment.
One of the main benefits of building dams to create hydroelectric energy is that is requires no fuel to run meaning no coal, nuclear energy or natural gas. These fuels pollute the air and pose dangers to nearby inhabitants. No fuel means lower long-term operating costs as well. Hydroelectric plants are automated. Labor costs are also very low compared to other types of electric power plants. Costs are further reduced due to the long-life expectancy of hydroelectric plants, much longer than nuclear or coal-fired plants. (Shah, 2011).
Aside from not posing health and environmental hazards to nearby residents, hydroelectric dams prevent flooding and can be used to irrigate farms. In addition, the dam’s reservoir is a large lake that can be enjoyed for recreational boating, swimming and fishing. This water is also often diverted to create water gardens to adjoining park facilities. (Khemani, 2008). Hydroelectric power is reliable and can produce electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses that are not near the dam. The power from these dams are flexible. Operators can adjust power output depending on the needs of the communities it serves relatively quickly. (Bratley, 2015) It is also a clean form of renewable energy, an important benefit given the dangers posed by global climate change.
Hydroelectric power has proven clean, efficient, reliable and cost effective for generations. This renewable energy also provides benefits well beyond simply producing electricity. It certainly is of greater benefit to people and the environment than other forms of electricity production. You can’t swim in the water of a nuclear or coal plant nor will hydroelectric poison the people it serves.
- Khemani, Haresh. (2008). Advantages of Hydroelectric Power Plants. Brite Hub. Retrieved from http://www.brighthub.com/environment/renewable-energy/articles/7728.aspx
- Bratley, James. (2015). Advantages & Disadvantages of Hydroelectric Power. Clean Energy Ideas. Retrieved from
- Shah, Abhishek. (2011). Hydroelectric Energy Advantages and Disadvantages. Green World Investor. Retrieved from http://www.greenworldinvestor.com/2011/04/04/hydroelectric-energy-advantages-and-disadvantages/