Hydroelectric Power

Here are some useful notes on hydroelectric power. It explains the advantages and the disadvantages of this renewable energy source. 

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Hydroelectric Power
We can source hydroelectric power by building dams in valleys where there are lakes to trap
water. The water in the dams is allowed to run through tunnels which turn the turbines,
driving the generators. The dam is thicker at the bottom and slopes giving the water more
pressure because of the depth. This helps provide more electricity.
Advantages
No waste produced
Very reliable
Water can be stored
Energy can be generated constantly
The power stations can get to full power quickly
Once the dam is built the energy is virtually free
Disadvantages
Dams are very expensive to build
You produce a lot of carbon dioxide whilst building the dam
Building the dam will cause a large area of land to be flooded
Animals habitat's can be destroyed whilst building the dam and flooding the area
around it.
Hydroelectric power is used a lot in countries like New Zealand and Switzerland. Over half of
these countries' energy needs come from hydroelectric power. There are 7 hydroelectric
power schemes in the UK.
Building the power station produces a lot of carbon dioxide. It will destroy any wildlife
habitants in the area and the people living in the area may think it as an eyesore and want to
move away. Homes may also be lost in the process because the dam takes up a lot of space.
Developing countries must have a lot of money to be able to build hydroelectric power
schemes. As for smaller communities the supply of water must be good and reliable. If there
is a short supply of water then hydroelectric power is not suitable for a place like this.

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