Water Energy Pros and Cons List
Hydroelectricity is the generation of electricity from water, also called hydropower. Like any energy source, there are pros and cons to water energy.
The Pros of Water Energy
1. One obvious advantage of water energy is the fact that it is renewable. Water can be cycled through and reused, so natural resources are not being obliterated in the process.
2. Generating electricity by means of water does not create pollution which is another huge benefit from using hydroelectricity. While pollution will be created during the construction of the power plants, maintaining the energy source will not add further toxins into the environment.
3. Reliability is an important factor in energy production; fluctuations in energy output can cause irreparable damage to whatever is being powered. With hydroelectricity, there are very little changes in the amount of energy produced, which provides a reliable and sustainable energy source.
4. In addition to electricity output needing to be reliable, it also needs to be flexible and adaptable. Hydroelectricity makes it easy to reduce the amount of power produced when consumption is low, and when user consumption is high, the flow of water is increased, allowing for more energy to be produced.
5. Lastly, another major advantage of water energy is that it is safe. Fossil fuels and nuclear energy can be dangerous when being produced, and if their facilities are compromised, the effects can be detrimental to the environment, and the public at large.
The Cons of Water Energy
1. As with all forms of energy, hydroelectricity does have its downsides. While there are many environmental benefits to water energy, nature must still be disturbed in order to create the facilities to house the electricity source. Power lines must be put in place, and the water being used is manipulated by means of damning, and change in flow direction.
2. Hydroelectric facilities also disrupt fish life. The balance of elements in water must be just right for fish to thrive, and when these conditions are altered, fish often cannot survive the changes.
3. As with any power plant, water power plants are expensive to build. The actual construction and manipulation of land require a lot of manpower, which is very expensive. Now, this does lead to one benefit which is that hydroelectric facilities are easier to maintain than other sources of energy, and this usually reflects in the cost.
4. A more obvious disadvantage to water energy is drought. When there is not enough water available, it must be brought in from other sources, which is expensive and does further environmental damage.
5. Not all water reservoirs are suitable for hydroelectricity, and those that are, are limited. We have already used much of the reservoirs with about 30 power plants under construction. This limits access to usable water, and again causes costs to be higher.
Again, as with all energy sources, there are some major positive and negative effects of hydroelectricity. Both must be taken into consideration when determining if water energy is the best source for the needs at hand.