The ever-growing global population and the increasing demand for energy are framing the need for more electricity generation. Hydroelectric power is one of the classical and prominent forms of renewable energy. It is used all over the world to generate electricity. The statistics shows that U.S. hydroelectricity generation capacity will increase to 590 megawatts in 2050. It produces the least amount of emissions because it uses no fuels and toxic products for electricity production. It is becoming popular gradually as it is cheaper and reliable than other energy sources. Harald Uphoff from the Federal German Association of Hydroelectric plants says, “The prospective for development in the hydroelectricity power sector is dependent on new technology.”
How is electricity generated from water
Hydroelectric energy originates from streaming water and spring overflow from streams and lakes. The major components which contribute to electricity production are the dam, turbine, generator, and transmission lines. For electricity generation, the water is stored in a hydroelectric energy power dam to increase the mass of water. The electricity generation depends on the volume of rainwater falling, or water stored in dam.
The turbine converts the kinetic energy of water into mechanical energy. Then, the turbine spins the generator to produce electricity. The hydroelectric energy station is used to move the turbines, which, in turn, pivot the generators. The transmission lines carry the electricity from hydropower plants to commercial and residential areas. The demand for electricity is not persistent. It continually changes according to our usage. Pumped storage has been introduced to improve consistency, which can reuse the water. It keeps the water in the room when electricity demand is at peak. It gives around 90% of the sustainable energy source on earth, without contaminating the air, land, or water, which different power plants do. The hydroelectric force has had a significant impact on the advancement of this modern electric energy industry. Enormous hydroelectric energy improvements were accomplished in the early development of the hydro industry.
Let’s have a look at Future Hydroelectricity Power Generating Possibility around the world:
1. Growth ventures for hydropower generation in the coming decade will reach 121GW. According to the Sustainable Development Scenario, power generation is expected to increase by 2.5% until 2030. Though it has a high conversion capacity and payback ratio, still improvements and technical innovations are done to make the power plant reliable and safe.
2. Renewables are playing a significant role in energy access, meeting two-thirds of the energy needs in the next 5-10 years.
3. In the European Union, hydro energy consumption is predicted to be 0.1 billion metric tons by the year 2040.
4. In China, hydropower generation is estimated to be 310 billion yuan by 2050.
5. Energy Information Association (EIA) forecasts that energy consumption around the world will rise to 50 percent between 2018-2050.
Hydroelectric Energy Advantages
There are a number of factors which are hinting at the immense possibility of hydroelectric energy. Let’s take a look at some of those:
The earth is full of water resources, from ocean to rivers and lakes. Thus, hydroelectricity can be easily generated without reducing the quantity of water or contaminating it by any means. As water is continually produced by snow and rain, there will be no shortage of water on earth, and thus hydroelectricity can be counted as one of the stable renewable power sources. It has the capability to produce 15% of the total world energy.
2.The pollution-free world is awaiting
Hydroelectricity power does not participate in any greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution. So, we can call it a ‘pollution free power source’. It helps to fight climate change due to pollution. The hydropower plants aid in maintaining climate control by reducing smog and acid rains which fuel energy sources usually do at a large scale.
3.Electricity generation is pocket-friendly
Electricity production is cheap in comparison to other sources such as coal, which are rapidly depleting. Hydroelectric power has become one of the strongest pillars of renewable energy sources by producing 82% of the total renewable energy. The operation and maintenance charge of the hydroelectric plant are quite low. Being a domestic source, it does not rely on foreign fuel sources and allows each region to generate its energy. The power plants last for more than 50 years, which are sufficient to support our generations. Hydroelectric power is the leading renewable energy sources of the world.
4.Safe and Secure
Hydroelectricity is quite safe when it comes to workplace securities. Incidents such as injuries and accidents are minimal and radioactive activities are zero in comparison to thermal or nuclear energy production centers. The developers can ensure safety by timely maintaining the equipment.
5.An environment for recreational activities
Hydropower reservoirs are a great source of fresh water. Saving the rain water helps in irrigation and local water supply in dry seasons. Apart from helping in local water supply, it offers an opportunity for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, and other water sports. The lakes and dams become the source of attraction for tourists.
6.What to do when a power cut happens
Some of the power production cannot save electricity or power. Hydropower plants is an exception to that. As it can provide back-up power when electricity suspension or outages occur. It is qualified to supply energy to the grid instantly. This is the reason why hydroelectricity power is ideal for industrial and residential areas.
7.Abandon water resource
Hydropower plants help in the betterment of the locality apart from generating renewable power. Hydropower plants can control floods and supply water for irrigation. Regulating the water source can become the boon for the local sustenance. They don’t possess a risk for loss of life or property damage by any means. As far, it remains one of the safest sources to generate power.
What does the future of hydro energy hold
Hydropower provides approximately 1,40,000 jobs in the construction, engineering, and manufacturing sector. In recent years, Energy Departments have joined hands with industry experts, environmental organizations, and research institutions to help the industry expand in the coming decades. These experts are conducting a thorough analysis to estimate the ways for hydropower generation. By 2050, it has pledged to reduce greenhouse discharge by 5.5 gigatons, and prevent economic damages by saving $58 billion. Scientists are developing assessment and performance tracking tools to improve the design and ensure the sustainable operation of the projects. The hydropower vision comprises sustainable development, improved market structures, process optimization, and enhanced collaboration. These factors contribute to the improvement of power production, maintaining socio-economic balance, and reducing production costs and any kind of damage risks. The hydropower vision report suggests that we should make conscious efforts to bloom our valuable water resources. It is necessary to take a step forward to safeguard our resources and install several hydropower plants in every corner of the world.
The hydroelectric power plants hold a long-history of power generation. It has the maximum share of energy production when compared to other sources such as geothermal, solar, and wind and so on. The storage capacity and affordability of these power plants mark them as economical and efficient. They are contributing to the economy by supporting agriculture, health, constructions, and industries. The hydro energy development satisfies the present-day electricity requirements without comprising the needs of future generations. It is a renowned technology that has proven its existence long ago and adding to the possibilities each passing day.