Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric energy is derived from hydropower. Hydropower is generated from the gravitational force of flowing or falling water. Hydroelectric energy is the widely used renewable form of energy, worldwide. This renewable form of energy has been used for centuries by humankind. Hydroelectricity is produced when the water passed through mechanical turbines. The water pressure forces the turbines to turn, and then the mechanical energy generated by turning turbines are converted to electricity.

Advantages of Hydroelectric Energy

Once a dam is built, hydroelectric energy can be generated at a constant rate. If there is no need for electricity, the energy generation can be stopped by closing the sluice gates. The water from the ocean, lake, or river can be saved for used for another time when demand for electricity is high. Also, dams built are designed to last for many decades, contributing to hydroelectric energy generations for many decades. Also, lakes formed behind dams can be used for pleasure/ leisure activities such as water sports. Large dams often became tourist attractions. Lakes behind dams can serve for irrigation.

On top of all, generating hydroelectric energy does not produce green house gasses. This is a renewable form of energy that does not pollute the atmosphere.

Disadvantages of Hydroelectric Energy

The cost is probably the primary disadvantage of hydroelectric energy, and all forms of renewable energy. The high cost of dam constructions means that they need to operate profitably in many decades, which means that hydroelectric electricity is sold at high cost.

Additionally, flooding large areas of land can destroy the environment. This means that people living in towns and villages must move out from valleys to be flooded. They will lose their businesses, farms, and even the primary source for living. People living in valleys to be flooded are forced to move out, so hydropower schemes may go ahead.

Building large dams to produce hydroelectricity can cause serious geological damage. It can trigger earthquakes and depress the earth’s surface on their location. If this happens, dams cannot handle the weight of the water in lakes and cause flooding in the surrounding, which means deaths of animals and people.


It is known that the act for producing renewable energy is environmentally friendly. Hydroelectric energy and other forms of alternative power can save the earth’s natural resources from being wasted. Many countries have proven that using renewable energy resources can help them increase the work opportunities for their people.

However, people looking forward to generate hydroelectric energy and other forms or renewable energy such as solar energy, wind energy, etc. must look at all pros and cons of alternate energy resources. Only electricity can be stored, and the alternative energy resources. Anyone using renewable energy must have sufficient knowledge about those alternate energy resources they are using, and how they can maintain it. Those people using alternative energy, but not have keen knowledge about their natural resource can cause disadvantage not just to other people, but also to the renewable energy resource itself.

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