Good or Bad?

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Is hydropower good or bad? In my research the benefits and issues had me asking is hydropower ideal for the future, what I found were mixed views. First off, the fact that hydropower is a renewable source of energy and does not cause pollution make it sound favorable. A hydropower plant can last up to 100 years and has the ability to store energy for when it is most needed. On the other side ecological impacts make it imperfect.

The issues I came across for this form of power production are as follows. In order to create hydropower a turbine needs to be generated by a large amount of water flow moving at a rapid pace. What this means is that usually these type of power plants involve damming of areas where water flow is strongest, in turn this affects the ecology of natural areas. Aquatic life is mainly affected by this and studies have shown the decrease in certain fish populations like salmon. Not only this but with damming comes flooding of areas that had not previously been under water, this creates a problem with erosion of land and algae build up. With the algae build up comes the problem of Co2 emission, this means that hydropower does create to some extent green house gasses.

If coming up with a solution to hard problems was easy then all of life problems would be answered. Generating hydropower is sustainable, reliable and long lasting. To me these out weigh the negative issues. Fish ladders have been installed in many dams to allow Salmon to continue up stream during their migration season. Algae build up does not happen at every location and the Co2 emission is minimal compared to burning of fossil fuels; which account for 50% of power generation. In the long run we would greatly benefit from hydropower.

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2 responses to “Good or Bad?

  1. Understanding the benefits of hydropower, I believe that hydropower is an alternative to generate power; however, it does impact other life forms. From fish ladders to algae build up, the dam poses a change in ecosystem, thus implementing alterations of the environment to balance the surrounding organisms. In result, hydropower generate raw power for the community, but artificial features must be constantly added to balance the ecosystem. Overall, one is neither better than the other. It indicates that you can’t have hydropower with a perfect ecosystem, vice versa.

  2. I am not a fan of hydro power. The California Aqueduct uses an electric pump that uses more energy then all of the hydro power stations produce; at least close to it. Hydro power devastates wildlife habitat. We have to develop future developments where the resources are. In windy areas use wind power, etc… I am more of a fan of nuclear power oppose to hydro power. Nuclear power is relatively clean and if the waste is treated properly it is safe. People bash nuclear power with cartoons of fish with three eyes and glowing rods, but we have a nuclear plant on the road to San Diego and it is just fine.

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