Water covers 70% of the planet’s surface, and water power (hydroelectric power) is the most widely used form of renewable energy in the world. Hydroelectric power from streams provides almost one fifth of the world’s electricity.
Remember that potential energy is the energy of an object waiting to fall. Water held behind a dam has a lot of potential energy.
In a hydroelectric plant, a dam across a riverbed holds a stream to create a reservoir. Instead of flowing down its normal channel, the water is allowed to flow into a large turbine. As the water moves, it has kinetic energy, which makes the turbine spin. The turbine is connected to a generator, which makes electricity
Consequences of Water Power Use
The major benefit of hydropower is that it generates power without releasing any pollution. Hydropower is also a renewable resource since the stream will keep on flowing. However, there are a limited number of suitable dam sites. Hydropower also has environmental problems.
The dam and turbines also change the downstream environment for fish and other living things. Dams slow the release of silt so that downstream deltas retreat and seaside cities become dangerously exposed to storms and rising sea levels.
Ocean Water Power:
The energy of waves and tides can be used to produce water power. Tidal power stations may need to close off a narrow bay or estuary. Wave power applications have to be able to withstand coastal storms and the corrosion of seawater. Because of the many problems with them, tide and wave power plants are not very common.
Hydroelectric power is clean and is important in many regions of the world.
Hydropower has downsides like the changes dams make to a river’s ecosystem.
Hydropower utilizes the energy of falling water.