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Energy Pros & Cons


Hydropower harnesses the energy from flowing water.

Hydropower is non-polluting
It is renewable - water flows are replenished by the hydrologic cycle, which is powered by the Sun

Hydropower only makes sense for countries with suitable climates and topographies
Building dams can involve diverting rivers, flooding farmland and countryside and displacing local people
Wildlife habitats are disrupted and fish can die in the blades of the turbines
Forests are often cut down to build the accompanying infrastructure
Dams can trap silt which would otherwise enrich soils downstream
Flooding is a potential hazard if the dam bursts or the reservoir fills with silt
Damming cross-border rivers can result in disputes with neighboring countries downstream


1 Dam: Holds back the water creating a large reservoir
2 Intake: Gates open, releasing flow of water towards turbine
3 Turbine: Force of water turns turbine blades
4 Generators: Spinning turbine generates an electrical current
5 Transformer: Converts electricity from the generator to usable voltage levels which can be fed to the national grid
© Alternative Use Group plc, 2013