Hydro electricity is generated by the damming of rivers to capture huge volumes of water. This water is then allowed to run through pipes at great speed and pressure to turn the turbines that drive the generators.

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As the generators spin, electricity is created and transported to where it is needed. Although hydro-electricity is a clean and renewable source of energy it is limited to areas with extensive river systems and terrain to build dams to capture the flowing water.

Hydroelectricity is a clean alternative to other sources of power which burn fossil fuel. Since hydroelectricity uses water pressure to turn the turbines no greenhouse gases are produced. Hydro power is electricity created from the force of running water. Unlike other renewable sources, like the sun or wind, water can be stored which makes it a great energy resource. Water is captured in dams and released on demand to produce electricity.

Dams create a high water level which increases the pressure of the water flowing through the pipes onto the turbines. Hydroelectricity provides around 10% of the electricity generated in Australia and 18% throughout the world. The most famous source of hydroelectric power is the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme.

Hydro-electric power is the main source of renewable energy. It provides more than 97% of all energy produced by renewable sources.The rest of the renewable energy source is made up of solar, wind, biomass and geothermal.


It is a renewable source

Environmentally friendly when it comes to the global warming.

It is more reliable than sun or wind power as water can be stored in dams.

To build large dams we have to flood large areas of land. This destroys the habitats of fish and local animals.

Water quality causes changes in plant life.

Compared to coal, hydro-electric power stations a expensive to build.

Why do we not use hydro-electricity more often? What prevents its wholesale use?

How does a hydro-electric power station differ from a coal fired one?

How is a hydro-electric power station similar to a coal fired one?

Why is hydro-electricity similar to a giant battery?

Why is hydro-electricity more reliable than electricity derived from the sun and wind?

Water has to fall from great heights to create enough pressure to drive the turbines of the generators. Some people say that if it wasn't for the sun we would not have hydro-electric power. Explain why. You may need to refer to the water cycle.

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