Do we utilize hydro power as much as we should?



  1. 0 Votes

    It depends on what you mean by “hydro power.” The most common form of hydro power is traditional hydroelectric energy, which is power generated by water flowing through a large dam across a waterway–Hoover Dam is an example. Hydroelectric power generated in this method supplies about 19% of the world’s energy in many countries. Although it’s clean compared to fossil fuel usage, some claim we shouldn’t use it as much as we do, because the dams have various negative effects on ecosystems and fish that live (or used to live) in the rivers that are dammed. There are other sources of hydro power too, some of them very exotic such as tidal power and wave farms. Like all forms of alternative energy, right now these are expensive to get started; wave power in particular is tricky because the facilities are very costly to build and are extremely delicate. Simple hydro power, such as the single-farm water wheels that have been used for thousands of years, is easily attainable and cheap, but of course you have to live in the right place to use it. I think the various forms of hydro power have potential, but as with anything else we need a lot of R&D dollars in order to fully determine which forms are most cost-effective and have the best potential to increase our renewable energy generation.

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