PROs and CONs of Water Energy

The energy that we get from water is utilized in generating power or electricity. Water has potential energy, and when it is in motion, it produces kinetic energy. In the turbine, the kinetic energy is converted to mechanical strength, and then with the help of generators, it is converted to electrical energy. This is how hydroelectric power production is carried out.

We need to build a power plant for generating electricity from water. In a power plant, all equipment is similar to dams for storing water, then pipelines through which the water will flow and generate kinetic energy, turbines that convert the kinetic energy to mechanical energy, and generators to produce electrical energy along with power lines that carry the electricity. Thus, a full set up is required to generate power by using water energy.

Water energy is indeed pure and renewable. It offers huge benefits to society, but the power plants that help generate electrical energy from water energy have some bad effects on society.

PROs and CONs of Power Plants

How they benefit and harm a human being

 Benefits of Power Plants

  • Hydroelectric power plants used in generating water energy are highly reliable and can rapidly meet the high demand for electrical energy. It helps control the speed of the water present in the reservoir based on the electricity demand. When there is a high electricity demand, water can be made to flow faster, and when there is less demand, water can make flow at a slower rate. It also helps in making water flow from heights. Both height and speed of water help in more power generation.
  • The water in the reservoir is also utilized for different leisure activities like fishing, swimming, etc., along with use for irrigation purposes. A large amount of water is stored in the reservoir during rains and floods and is used at droughts.
  • Water is a natural gift, and we get it without any cost. Thus, this method of generating electrical energy through a power plant is cost-effective.
  • The water present in the reservoir can be reused even after using it for generating electrical energy. We only need power from the water, and the volume of water remains the same even after the generation of electrical energy.
  • Based on the weather forecast, we can predict the water availability, thus making the energy source a predictable energy source.

Some more potential benefits of water energy

  • A constant source of energy: At any time of the year, we can generate power as water is stored in the reservoir for being used at the time of need.
  • Low maintenance: The cost of running a power plant and maintaining it is low compared to another source of generating power. It is because it does not depend on raw materials.
  • Free from pollution: Hydropower plants do not utilize fossil fuel or coal. Thus they are environmental-friendly and do not cause decay like other nuclear power plants. It maintains a perfect balance in the ecosystem.
  • Low emission: There is a very low emission of greenhouse gases when compared to other power plants that run with the help of coal or gas.
  • Last long: This power plant’s lifespan is good, and it lasts longer with less maintenance.

But along with all these benefits, there are also some limitations to power plants. Let us discuss:

Limitation of power plants used in generating water energy.

  • The cost of setting up a power plant is very high.
  • It needs a large amount of space for the complete setup. Building up dams, a reservoir along with other equipment needs a big area. Sometimes, people nearby are forced to leave the place that flora and fauna and wildlife are also highly affected.
  • Dams collect water from streams that have a detrimental effect on fishes on streams and rivers. It also affects the migration of fish. While some fish go to seawater for reproducing, and some fish go back to rivers for reproduction because of the construction of dams. This has a bad effect on the reproduction cycle of the fish.

Some of the other limitations of the power plant required to generate electrical energy from water.

  • Sedimentation occurs in the water of the river carried to the reservoirs and poses a threat to the dam.
  • There is a high loss of transmission. The electrical energy generated is supplied to households through the power line, and during this transmission, there is about 40% loss of life.
  • Even though the water quantity remains unaffected after the generation of electrical energy, the quality is affected, and it might harm crops when used for agricultural purposes.
  • The plants surrounding the dam are always covered with water for which they emit methane gas consistently. This methane gas cause pollution in the environment.

Thus, generating electrical energy from water by using a power plant has its advantages and disadvantages. Research is still on to overcome all limitations.

About the author
Mayur Sureja