Hydropower: How Does It Generate Power BY ALECIA M. SPOONER

In Breaking News, Business & Economy, Columnists, National News, Opinion, Politics

Following plans by the Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade to build hydropower plants in Cross River state, (Agbokim and Kwa falls), to boost industrial growth and productivity, we bring you a simple to understand essay on how hydropower is generated, the advantages and disadvantages of the hydropower.

hydropower dummy

An important source of alternative energy is hydropower: converting the flow of rivers and ocean waves and tides into electricity through dams and turbines. The best part about both of these water sources is that they’re 100 percent renewable.

Generate energy with hydropower dams

All rivers and streams flow downhill across the land surface. Humans can convert this motion of water, which is a form of kinetic energy, into electricity by building dams across rivers. Each dam directs the water flow of the river through a system that generates electricity. This figure shows a simple hydropower dam system.

So how exactly does a dam generate electricity? The dam creates a large lake, or reservoir, of water. The river water then flows from the reservoir through the dam’s penstock (control gate or pipe) into a turbine or large water wheel. As the water pushes the turbine, the kinetic energy is transferred into a generator that converts it into electric energy.

Electric companies can then send the electric energy along wires to provide power to industries or households. Many regions around the world currently depend on hydropower dams to produce electricity.

The Three Gorges Dam in China illustrates both the advantages and the disadvantages of using hydropower energy. The main advantages are that the dam provides China with huge amounts of renewable, clean energy with low monetary costs (other than the initial construction costs). Unfortunately, though, when the Three Gorges Dam was built, it flooded extensive watershed regions, drowning whole villages, whose populations had to relocate above the reservoir waterline.

The building of the dam also destroyed millions of acres of habitat and, thus, had negative effects on biodiversity. The verdict is still out on whether meeting the growing energy needs of China’s people through a clean and renewable energy source (hydropower) is worth the destruction of habitat and the other negative outcomes.

Because many people criticize large hydropower dams for the environmental damage they cause (such as destroying habitat and changing the nature of the river ecosystem), some scientists have started developing new technologies that apply the same principles to capture river energy as a traditional dam without causing as much damage.

For instance, small floating systems such as microhydropower dams and run-of-the-river systems capture kinetic energy from flowing rivers without causing dramatic ecosystem disruption. These smaller hydropower systems use tiny turbines to capture the natural flow of water instead of creating a lake or causing flooding. The smallest systems sit under the surface of the water and have very little impact on the environment around them.

Small-scale systems such as these are examples of what the future of hydropower may look like.

Alecia M. Spooner is with the Environmental Science for Dummies

Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism

CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.

Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.

Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.


New Feature: Don't miss any of our news again.Get all our articles in your facebook chat box.Click the Facebook Messenger Icon below to subscribe now

Text Advert by CRWatch :Place Yours

Will You To Learn How To Make Millions Of Naira Making Special Creams From Your Kitchen?.Click Here

Expose Your Business And Make More Sales. Advertise On CrossRiverWatch.com Today

You may also read!

Inner Pain? Ayade’s Commissioner Impregnates SA’s Wife

By Jonathan Ugbal There is currently disquiet in the cabinet of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State after


Aero Cally Video Shoot Delayed Flight

By Jonathan Ugbal and Sylvia Akpan The Aero Cally flight N2176 from Calabar to Abuja on Tuesday was delayed


CALABAR: Aggrieved Civil Servants Protest Three Years Unpaid Salaries, Seek Head Of Service Sack

By Patrick Obia Dozens of aggrieved civil servants in Cross River, on Wednesday, shutdown the new secretariat complex in


2 commentsOn Hydropower: How Does It Generate Power BY ALECIA M. SPOONER

  • Tremendous things here. I’m very glad to
    look your post. Thank you a lot and I am looking ahead to contact you.
    Willl you kindly drop mee a mail?

  • It is a welcome development that the state govt. under the watch of Prof. Ayade wants to come up with such lofty vision.It will bring more investors to the state bcos without a power no economy can achieve anything meaningful…

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Mobile Sliding Menu

Share this now