Hydro energy is also referred to as water energy. This is production of electricity energy from water sources. To produce electricity from moving water, heavy electricity generators are used. It is the transfer of kinetic energy to electric energy (Efthymoglou, 1987). This paper looks into hydro energy; it will discuss how it is produced, its use, its disadvantages and advantages.
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How hydro energy is produced
There are different ways that electricity can be generated from water, they are; conventional, tides, pumped storage or run off rivers.
This involves the use of dams to tap potential energy from water in terms of water that accumulates in these dams. After accumulation, the water is left to run down a height referred to as head. As they run down, they get into contact with turbines which they rotate. The rotated turbines run electric generators and electricity is produced.
Tides move in waves. The up and down movement of tide has kinetic energy that is used to rotate turbines kept strategically for this purpose. The turbines generate electricity.
Water is passed through different stepped elevetions. When water is changing from elevations, it has kinetic energy which rotates turbines for electricity generation.
Run off rivers
This is the use of water speed in running rivers which is used to rotate turbines for electricity generation (Efthymoglou, 1987).
Uses of electricity
Electricity is used in industries and in homes for various purposes. It is a reliable source of energy for heating, lightening and running of machinery. In manufacturing of good, it is considered as on e of the input costs incurred. This is in terms of lightening the factory, running of manufacturing and administrative machines and heating.
In homes it is used for lightening, running of electrical equipments like television, electric fans and electric heaters among others. It assister sin making life better as people can connect to the outside world through various equipments like computers, phones, radio and telegrams which are run by electric power.
Of late, the energy has been tapped in transport industry where it is used in electric tramways, railways, and new development of electrically charged motor vehicles.
Advantages of hydro energy
Energy from water has been considered as one of the world cleanest source of energy. It does not produce green house gasses when it is being produced or when it is being used. Although there are minimal emissions when a plant is being set up, this is negligible and cannot count compared to the emission by electricity from fossil fuels.
The energy also does not have wastes that need to be disposed. In the ear that the world is suffering from global warming, hydro power is seen as one of the strategies that can assist in reducing green house emission. This makes the energy good for sustainable development.
When hydro energy is compared to nuclear energy, it maintains an upper hand since it does not produce nuclear reactants which are associated with nuclear energy. Nuclear reactants are dangerous to the health of human beings.
It is a renewable source of energy. Water used to run turbines is nit utilised in any way other than its energy and thus it can be reused more than once without reducing its capability. Adopting renewable technology assists the world to meet its current population energy demands without limiting the level at which future generations will meet their needs.
Initial cost of setting up of machinery and generators is huge, however the cost of running the plants is relatively low compared to other sources of energy. This makes the net cost lower. The cost of electricity from water is the cheapest in the world and thus companies and people can utilize the important product at an affordable cost (BRYAN & TERRY).
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Disadvantage of hydro energy
Creation of water reservoirs in low land areas for water collecting influences the natural habitation of the area. This includes climatic conditions which it creates micro climates. The reservoirs influences aquatic life, they create a different environment, temperatures and may wide up breeding areas of aquatic life.
These plants are deeply constructed in water, as they decay; they produce methane gasses which may be dangerous to the people living around them. On the other hand, they create stagnate water which may become a breeding place to disease causing insects like mosquitoes and tsetse flies.
Finally, hydro electric plants are good terrorists attack points. This is because of the danger they can have on a country if attacked (Anon, 2004).
There are many sources of electricity; they include fossil fuels, wind, solar and hydro electricity. Electricity is used at homes, offices and factories. Hydro electric power generation is superior to other forms since it is renewable, is cheap and emits minimal green house gasses. However these plants lead to massive dislocation of people when they are being constructed and are terrorists attack sites. It also creates a breeding place for disease causing insects like mosquitoes and tsetse fly which affect the health of human beings.
Anon.(2004). ELECTRICITY MADE FROM WATER. Current Science, 89(10), 12. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
BRYAN, H., VICE, P., & ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH, I. (n.d). WATER AND ENERGY. FDCH Congressional Testimony, Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
Efthymoglou, P. (1987). OPTIMAL USE AND THE VALUE OF WATER RESOURCES IN ELECTRICITY GENERATION. Management Science, 33(12), 1622-1634. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.