Hydroelectric Power: The Renewable Energy Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1308 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Energy

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S. Department of Energy Hydropower Program, 2001. p. 5). China also has moved on with the newest project of the Three Gorges Dam. The dam would be taking 400 miles for the reservoir only (Ordal, 2002).

However this technology sometimes does not work under specific circumstances. Norway, for example, ranked the sixth from the top hydroelectric generating countries in 1998. The country depends much on the hydroelectric stations that provide it economical source of electricity for its people. Once the government realized that they had trouble during the dry year, the electricity cost had increased to 400%. The prolonged dry season had left the dams empty that only limited sources of stored energy left, causing extreme hikes on electricity cost. It might cost 2-3 times higher than usual for the people to keep their houses warm and businesses to stay open.

Although reported to be efficient and satisfying, the development of large dams and utilization of powerful turbines have created superfluous effects that have traumatized the adjacent environment. (U.S. Department of Energy Hydropower Program, 2001. p. 7).

The main consideration is, such huge construction and landscape alteration required to build a dam will affect the organisms living in the streams and the natural platform of the neighboring areas. Dam construction will at least destroy the farms and villages, forcing the inhabitants to relocate; which costs very high.

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The other obvious concern is about the threatened fish lifecycle in the river. The powerful movement of the water into the penstock and the turbine rotation has been proven of killing fishes in the rivers. The gravitation force draw fishes into the penstock, and the sharp blades of the turbine instantly bash them into pieces or leave them injured.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Hydroelectric Power: The Renewable Energy Assignment

In North America, the dam operation is reported in endangering young fishes life, as the fishes are sucked into the pipes and smashed onto the wall, while others are killed for increasing water pressure inside the unit (Stoner, 2002. par. 7). Moreover, it is important to consider that the barrier effect of the dam building most likely blockade the natural salmon journey to the spawning site. Some dams have implemented ladder structures for the salmons to make their way through their home, however this method has been reported ineffective.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently introduced the new Advanced Turbine Technology to reduce the violent effect of the hydropower plant to the fishes. The new turbine has less blades and noise, and allows water to pass with less shocking effect to the fishes carried in the water. The design allows the turbine to produce more energy, around 6% greater than the conventional one (Stoner, 2002).

From the previous study, the advanced turbine technology reduces fish mortality to less than 2%, while on the current turbine system may reach 5-30%. Moreover, the turbine also retains the Dissolved Oxygen level to 6 mg/L, which meets the standard water quality for the existence of the organisms (U.S. Department of Energy Hydropower Program, 2001. p 7). The quality of this instrument is yet to be tested to find out whether it fulfills the need of environmentally friendly hydropower plant.

Works Cited

Bonsor, Kevin. "How Hydropower Plants Work." 2003. How Stuff Works. 5 Mar. 2003. http://people.howstuffworks.com/hydropower-plant.htm

Coface Environmental Guidelines. "Hydroelectric Power Stations and Large Dams." November 2002. Coface Consulting. 5 Mar. 2003. http://www.coface.com/_docs/barragesgb.pdf

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "Introduction to Hydroelectric Power." Clean Energy Basic. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 5 Mar. 2003. http://www.nrel.gov/clean_energy/hydroelectric_power.html

Ordal, David. "Technology: How Hydro Actually Works." 2002. Hydro Power. Department of Physics and Astronomy Pomona College. 5 Mar. 2003. http://www.physics.pomona.edu/faculty/prof/tanenbaum/phys17s99/hydro/technology.htm

Stoner, Mark. "Hydropower: Environmental Effects." 2002. Hydro Power. Department of Physics and Astronomy Pomona College. 5 Mar. 2003. http://www.physics.pomona.edu/faculty/prof/tanenbaum/phys17s99/hydro/environmental.htm

US Department of Energy Hydropower Program. "Hydropower Partnership With The Environment." 2001. U.S. Department of Energy Hydropower Program. 5 Mar. 2003. http://hydropower.inel.gov/facts/01-GA50627-01-brochure.pdf [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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