What is hydroelectricity? Hydroelectricity is electricity produced by hydropower. Hydropower is a very broad term; it can refer to using water for irrigation, milling, and even textiles. That is why hydroelectricity is the proper term when referring to the renewable energy resource, which we are.
Hydroelectricity is the world’s leading source of renewable energy, supplying 19% of the world’s electricity, and accounting for 63% of the total renewable energy electricity generated. Large hydroelectric and small hydroelectric are the common names for the two types of hydroelectric installations. As you probably could have guessed, small hydro is “the application of hydroelectric power on a commercial scale serving a small community or medium sized industry.” Meanwhile, large hydro is used on a large scale.
So what’s so special about hydroelectricity? The fact that it’s already being used. As mentioned previously, hydroelectricity provides 19% of the world’s energy. Commercial industry can already expand off of hydro; it’s low tech, it’s been in use for over a hundred years, and it works inexpensively.
Does hydroelectricity have any harmful side effects? Let’s see what Wikipedia says:
Hydroelectric projects can be disruptive to surrounding aquatic ecosystems. For instance, studies have shown that dams along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America have reduced salmon populations by preventing access to spawning grounds upstream, even though most dams in salmon habitat have fish ladders installed.As important as salmon is, this small disadvantage should not be a reason to not use hydro.
If hydroelectricity is expanded upon and used with other technologies, hydroelectricity could become even greater than it already is.
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