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Falling Water

Hydro power must be one of the oldest methods of producing power. No doubt, some old man before would probably stick some sturdy leaves on a pole and put it in a moving stream. The water would spin the pole that crushed grain to make their delicious, low-fat prehistoric bran muffins. Nowadays, huge power generators are placed inside dams. Water flowing through the dams spin turbine blades which are connected to generators. Power is produced and is sent to homes and businesses. Producing electricity using hydroelectric power has some advantages over other power-producing methods. You can see an example of a dam if you click here

Disadvantages to power plants that use coal, oil, gas, and nuclear fuel:
They use up valuable and limited natural resources
They produce a lot of pollution
Companies have to dig up the earth or drill wells to get the coal, oil, and gas
Nuclear fuel has waste-disposal problems

Advantages to hydroelectric power:
It's clean -- nothing is burned and pollution is almost nonexistent
It's cheap -- no fuel has to be mined or bought. Water is provided free by nature
It saves the land -- no mines have to be dug
It's renewable - rainfall renews the water in the reservoir, so the fuel is almost always there

Hydroelectric power sounds great, so why don't we use it to produce all of our power? Mainly because you need lots of water and a lot of land where you can build a dam and reservoir, which all takes a LOT of money, time, and construction. In fact, most of the good spots to locate hydro plants have already been taken. In the early part of the century hydroelectric plants supplied a bit less than one-half of the nation's power, but the number is down to about 10 percent today. The trend for the future will probably be to build small-scale hydro plants that can generate electricity for a single community.


Advantage and Disadvantages(Questions):

a) Is the energy source renewable?

Hydroelectric Power is renewable. We will never run out of water.

b) Does the energy resource produce much power, enough for a home, village, or city, from one power plant?

A Hydroelectric dam can power various amounts of sizes depending on location. Most Dams can power small villages, but not large cities.

c) Is the energy resource available all the time?

Yes, hydroelectric power can be harnessed at any time.

d) Does the energy resource need to be transported to the power plant?

Hydroelectric Power doesn't need transportation of resources. It is right by the resource.

e)Does the power from the plant have to be transported over long distances?

Usually, you need long power lines to transport electricity from the dam because the dam has to be in a certain area to produce electricity.

f)Is the energy resource polluting (in transportation, power production or with waste products)?

This form of energy resource is not polluting at all.

g)Is the energy resource plentiful?(in how many parts of the world?)

Hydroelectric Power can only be found in some parts of the world where there are suitable situations such as a waterfall.

h)How expensive is it to produce the power?

To build the dam costs quite a lot of money and maintaining it does too.

i)Is the technology for the energy resource easy to use?

Usually it requires professionals to operate the dam and monitor it. You should be trained, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to control a dam.

j)Can this energy resource provide power for automobiles?

No, Hydroelectric power cannot be used to power automobiles.

k)How much technology is currently available for this energy resource?

Using Hydroelectric power has probably been mastered and is used worldwide where there is appropriate conditions.

Ratings

From 1 to 5

a)Renewable or Non Renewable 5
b)Enough power for a city, for a village or for a home? 3
c)Available all the time, part of time or seldom? 5
d)Resources shipped long, or short? 3
e)Plant can be close to users or far away. 3
f)Non-Polluting or Polluting? 5
g)Plentiful or scarce? 3
h)Expensive or cheap? 3
i)Easy to use or hard to use? 3
j)Could power automobiles. 1
k)Currently available and widespread or scarce. 4

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