Whenever water flows over running turbines, there is a generation of electrical energy which is known as the hydroelectric energy. Hydropower is one of the oldest large-scale renewable energy sources which contributed a third of all energy needs in the US in the 1940s.The exploration and investment in other energy sources has reduced the dependence of hydropower in the united states to around 6%.
The hydroelectric energy has its economic and environmental pros and cons and therefore it is crucial that these aspects are understood before investing in the energy source.
Investing in hydroelectric energy has the following advantages. First,it uses water a free and readily available resource and therefore there is virtually no cost to be incurred when getting the resource unlike the use of fossil fuels whose price is high and keep on fluctuating. The second reason why you should consider investing in hydroelectric power generation is because of its high efficiency in converting captured energy to electrical energy which stands at around 90%.The third attractive thing about hydroelectric power generation is that it has no water,air or land pollution which makes it better as compared to other forms of energy which contributes to global warming and causes other environmental pollution.Fourthly,the water that is utilized to run turbines when it evaporates,it falls back as rain hence the hydroelectric energy is renewable. Fifthly,the hydroelectric power generation has proven to be highly useful in improving the environmental quality through the provision of high quality water that can be used to irrigate farms and the process also creates large habitats for fish and other aquatic life.The sixth reason for the investment on hydroelectric energy is the fact that the investor is able to keep up with demand by establishing new power plants on the existing power dams. The seventh advantage of investing in hydroelectric power generation is that the investor can also set up recreational facilities in addition to power generation which attracts holidaymakers for camping,water sports and fishing.The cost-effectiveness of hydroelectric power generation makes it more advantageous than alternative sources of energy like coal or natural gas.
The following are the disadvantages of investing in hydroelectric power generation.To begin with,the hydropower generation contributes to the destruction of natural habitats. Secondly,the process of hydropower generation can emit significant amount of methane and carbon IV oxide when trees and plants in the power plant rots in absence of oxygen. The dependence of the hydropower on heavy rain to optimally generate energy,the risk of flooding it poses on the surrounding settlements and the expensive nature of installation are some other disadvantages of hydroelectric energy investment.