Hydropower Energy, 3 common Myths & Facts

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Many in the development community have come to associate hydropower with long-term economic [soustainable]  development. This is despite the fact that those outside of decision-making are well aware of the negative ecological and sociological consequences.

hydroelectric power  or hydropower what is it ?

Hydroelectricity is a type of hydropower and the world’s most frequently used renewable energy source. It generates no waste and does not emit carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a greenhouse gas.

Hydroelectric power is generated by harnessing the power of moving water. Hydro electricity extracted from water depends not only on the volume but on the difference in height between the source and the water’s outflow. [1]

The source used to produce hydropower is called an “upland”, which could be anything from a mountainous area to a dammed river. The water that runs through the upland contains potential energy. In hydropower plants, this potential energy will turn into an electrical generator, which can then power homes and businesses in the community.

According to 50% and 70% of all electricity worldwide comes from hydropower generation. Since 1920, the US has been the top provider of hydropower at more than 800 billion kilowatt-hours generated per year. However, in 2009 China passed the U.S. and became the world’s largest hydropower provider with more than 170 billion kilowatt-hours of production.Although the spread of this energy uses, There lots of myths out there about it, so in this article, we’ll be clarifying and putting an end to any confusion about what is a reiality  and what is a myth, follow along with us!Hydropower  myths and realities Like other  clean energies  ” solar ,biomass ,geothermal,wind energy ” there are   many myths  around hydropower or let’s say misconceptions  [ not only  environmentalists  who annouce  this but some of those who are interested in the  energy sector].

 In short , in reality there are enough myths  but what i want to mention here  three  myths around development and hydropower  that are freauently  used  .

we will see some positive and negative impacts of creating new projects in fragils ecosystems .further ,to ensure from every point i have checked up some sience platorms to provide my arguments with  much proofs instead of listing dozens i only cited  popular  myths and of course  showing of some facts in the name of climate change.

what is the simple definition of a myth ? 

A muth is : a historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon.

#1 The first of all Myths  ;Hydropower is not a clean  source.

Hydropower uses a fuel—water—that is not reduced or used up in the process. Because the water cycle is endless and driven by the sun, constantly recharging system,  hydropower is considered

Around 60 percent of all clean electricity is generated by hydro. The sector produces about 16 percent of total electricity generation from all sources including nuclear and fossil fuels.No country has come close to achieving 100% renewable s without hydropower in the energy mix. In the USA , Hydropower is typically the only viable renewable alternative in places where sun and wind are not ideal.

#2 One of the common Myths isHydroelectric power plants need to be massive in order to be effective.

When most people think of hydropower they imagine Hoover Dam, a gigantic facility that stores electricity in the waterholes throughout the river, but hydroelectric plants are tiny and use water flowing through urban water systems or irrigation ditches. Hydroelectric plants, such as dams, are less about diversions along rivers and more about channeling part of a river to a power plant so that it can flow back into the main river. 

With the help of modern technology solutions, distributed hydropower projects can be developed and operated and networked into large-scale, cost-effective virtual power plants.
As stated in a recent NREL cost analysis of distributed interconnected hydro projects associated with the creation of virtual power plants,
the study showed that the reduction in revenue from operational changes required to achieve environmental goals was small, less than 4%.

#3 one of the most common myths is   :Hydropower is not carbon-neutral

One of the primary reactions you will find out about hydroelectric  is that it creates more ozone-harming substances than a hydrocarbon  station of the same size. Soil and vegetation trapped in the turbines and spillways emit methane and carbon dioxide when they decay.
With appropriate controls and plans, a hydropower dam can be worked to be totally perfect, these methane emanations can be disposed of.

What Statics has shown is that Hydropower is among the cleanest sources of electricity, with a low greenhouse gas emission intensity compared to other  forms (as shown in the graph below).
Independent research suggests  using of hydropower instead of hydrocarbon deposit for power generation has helped to avoid more than 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in the past 50 years alone, exceeding even the emissions averted by nuclear power.

That’s roughly equivalent to the total annual carbon footprint of the United States for 20 years.

Hydropower’s capacity to deliver clean energy resources is also a key component of the myth. However, evidence is accumulating that hydropower may produce emissions comparable to those produced by fossil fuels. Nearly 20% of hydropower reservoirs had higher emissions than other renewable sources, and several of these reservoirs had emissions that were comparable to fossil fuel emissions.Hydropower projects can also contribute to climate change by draining wetlands and flooding trees that would otherwise act as carbon sinks, and their construction is highly energy intensive. They are also the single largest human emitter of methane.

Forest Diversion in the name of climate change mitigation

Due to the growth of hydropower development touted as a climate change mitigation option for the global energy transition, fragile ecosystems have undergone rampant land-use changes in recent years.. Furthermore, countries (such as India) have compensatory afforestation plans in place to offset the loss of new forest areas diverted for hydropower projects, which has resulted in more physical interference with natural landscapes, the long-term repercussions of which are unknown.Between 2012 and 2016, a study examined the amount, type, and impact of forest diversion for hydropower projects in isolated, environmentally fragile divisions in various areas of the country, using information from official data and on-the-ground research.

It also investigates the use of ‘compensatory afforestation’ as a’mitigation’ approach as part of the forest diversion process.Not only have hydropower project building activities disrupted forest biodiversity and fragmented the forest environment, but the accompanying remunerative afforestation plantations have also been plagued by issues. Interspecies conflict, encroachment on local land use, and devastation from wildfires and landslides are only a few of the issues.This study critically explores the role of state-led institutions and global green growth strategies in pushing and legitimizing these developments in the name of ‘mitigation,’ eventually harming vulnerable local ecosystems and populations that rely on them.


On the whole, as the world moves towards a 100% inexhaustible future, hydropower’s reliability and sustainability are almost  being the ideal solution. Some specialists see that cooperation with other renewables will be key to hydro’s success in the future with a potential to support more than 195,000 jobs across the nation in 2050.

hydro ;  An element in many compound words of Greek origin, meaning ‘water.’ In chemical compounds other than hydrogen it usually represents hydrogen. [2]

I predict the electricity generated by water power is the only thing that is going to keep future generations from freezing. Now we use coal whenever we produce electric power by steam engine, but there will be a time when there’ll be no more coal to use. That time is not in the very distant future.

Charles Proteus Steinmetz

[1] http://www.climatechangechallenge.org/Resource%20Centre/Renewable-Energy/Hydroelectricity.html

[2] ;  https://www.wordnik.com/words/hydro

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