Hydropower Energy

What it's all about

The Process

Hydropower plants capture the energy of falling water to generate electricity. A turbine converts the kinetic energy of falling water into mechanical energy. Then a generator converts the mechanical energy from the turbine into electrical energy.

Some Concerns for Wildlife and the Environement

One concern for wildlife and the environment is flooding because if the dam were to overflow the flood would kill animals in the process and could cause trees to receive too much water and die. Fish can be injured or killed due to overflow of water. Devices at dams can help fish and other wildlife move freely around dams and between sections of rivers. Fish ladders and fish elevators are just some of the techniques used to help fish migrate.

So how much does hydroelectric power cost?

Hydropower costs less than most energy sources. States that get the majority of their electricity from hydropower, like Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, have energy bills that are lower than the rest of the country. In the US , hydropower is produced for an average of 0.7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Development of Hydroelectric Energy

  • FERC regulates approximately 2,300 hydroelectric producing dams. In addition, there are approximately 240 federal dams that produce hydroelectric power. Thus, there are a total of approximately 2,540 hydroelectric dams.

  • Lester Allan Pelton invented/contributed greatly to the idea and making of hydropower in the old west and world-wide.

  • Hydropower used to be, and still is, a very popular energy source world-wide.