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Essay/Term paper: Hydroelectric energy

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Science Research Papers

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Hydroelectric energy potentially is
the result of a fortunate coincidence in which
nature and the need to modernize, are combined
together in an on- going cycle. The cycle being
evaporated, precipitation and concentration.
Having water, though, does not necessarily mean
having hydroelectric potential. To be in usable
form, that water must be in continuous supply,
accessible and concentrated in rivers with a
volume flows and a descent rate, sufficient to drive
generating turbines. The only way that this system
would become non-renewable would logically be
if the lakes, rivers and streams dried up, therefore
the resource of water becoming unavailable. The
likeliness of this happening in our lifetime is next to
nothing, especially in Ontario and Quebec. These
areas have and abundance of lakes and
down-falling rivers. Availability The availability of
water in this area of the world is great. Being able
to have water flowing on a downward slope is
another story. It is useless if it is not flowing. The
steeper the water flows, the more electricity it will
produce. Hydroelectric plants can be turned into
what are called peaking units in areas where
power plants and high populations exist. That is
because electricity demand in an area can vary
widely over a period of time, sources that can
easily be turned on or off are needed to meet
demand peeks. Environmental Concerns Large
dame change a self-regulating ecological system
into one that must be managed. Placed on a river
without thought to their upstream and downstream
impacts they can bring disaster. Because lakes
cannot survive some of the abuses that rivers can,
traditional farming and waste disposal practices
must be changed. The dams themselves can be
threatened by the silting of reservoirs caused by
soil erosion, which may destroy a dams ability to
store water and generate energy. Dams can
endanger little known plant and animal species.
Many tropical plants or animals with potentially
high economic value will be lost forever if dam
reservoirs are built, because so many tropical
species have be yet to be named. Even where
threatened species have been indented, pressure
to destroy their habitats can be irresistible. Where
fish species migrate long distances to breed, dams
can decrease their stocks. The Columbia river
salmon fisheries in North America declined sharply
after dams were built there, despite programs to
build fish ladders and restock the river. How much
is there? In different areas of the world, water can
range to an abundance of it, to none at all. With
the hydrologic cycle there will always be the same
amount of water on Earth. It will just be
distributed differently throughout the biosphere.
Hydroelectricity can not be created unless there id
water running downwards. The question is, will we
always be able to have water flowing down? The
answer is no, not in all areas, for instance, billions
of dollars could be spent on building a huge
hydroelectric dam and then ten years later the lake
could dry up and that would be a total waste of
money. If there is no water running out of the lake,
or water reservoir and none running in, the water
is useless. In Ontario, all of the possible sites for
dams to create hydroelectric energy are being
used. Fortunately, we have more than enough
water to supply our population with electric
energy.  

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