The latest in renewable energy source … Hydropower. It is moving water used to create generate electricity, which we all need, but it also used for irrigation. It really isn’t a ‘new’ when it comes to irrigation though. People were using hydropower since the sixth millennium BC for irrigation purposes in ancient Egypt and in Mesopotamia.
This newest use of hydropower to create hydroelectricity is one of the best renewable sources for energy yet. It can satisfy as much as twenty percent of the electricity demands for the world. The history of hydropower confirms the reason that there are as many hydroelectric power plants. But perhaps the reason hydropower is growing in popularity today is because it does not have greenhouse gas emissions such as those created by fossil fuels.
When compared to fossil fuels, hydropower electric plants are just as cost effective as plants using fossil fuels with one upside: They are completely immune to fossil fuel prices, thus making hydropower even stronger when it comes to good economics. Hydropower plants have a long lifespan, around a hundred years and because they are mostly automated, hydropower plants have low maintenance as well.
There Is A Downside To Hydropower Plants
While hydropower plants are getting more and more popular each day for several reasons:
- No Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Automated Meaning Less Maintenance
- Long-life Span Of 100 Years Or More
- Most Cost Effective Than Fossil Fuels
There is a downside to hydropower: the startup costs are big to build the large dams that are required. To find a counter to that downside, there are smaller hydropower systems being built that are gaining popularity. Micro hydropower systems, which are smaller, hence the name, but can still generate power for smaller areas and needs.
The most recent global economic crisis created a real disaster to many of the world’s economies which made hydropower and even more valuable renewable source of energy. Countries around the world have allocated monies toward more research on this source as well others. In addition to more research on how to use hydropower more, those studies have included other environmentally friendly electricity resources. Among those being studied are biomass, solar and wind power as well as geothermal energy.
And while each of those renewable resources each has their own benefits for Earth, hydropower has so far proven to be the most enviro-friendly of them all. It is one renewable energy source that we can expect to see more of it in the near future.