What is Hydroelectric Power?

The energy produced from the gravitational energy of water is called hydropower. Twenty one percent of renewable energy on earth is produced by hydropower and one seventh of the inhabitants of the earth get benefited by it. The amount of greenhouse or fossil fuel gasses produced from it is very less. It serves as an alternative source of energy due to its many properties like cost effective, eco-friendly and prolonging nature.

Production of electricity

In 1878, the use of hydroelectric power was employed in the form of a hydroelectric plant. The principle of electricity production is very simple. The fast moving or flowing water when strikes the water turbine or wheel, it gives energy to the turbines and rotational motorized yield is produced. The potential and kinetic energy of water in converted into work under the action of gravity. So basically, gravity is which gives energy and motion in the water. Hydro energy fulfills almost 15% of earth’s electricity demand.

How does Hydroelectric Power Work?

The principle of hydroelectric power is similar to that of wind energy which turns the wheels of the turbine by its energy. Hydroelectric power uses the natural flow of water to give mechanical energy to turbines to produce electricity. The water flows continuously to provide energy. Gravitational energy gives water kinetic energy required for the flow. In normal cases the ordinary flow of water is enough for its working like for home electricity; but in other cases its flow and efficiency has to be increased which can be done by shafting of water along channels and penstocks which would increase the output.

The movement of water which is kinetic energy is converted into some useful mechanical energy. This mechanical energy of turbines is then converted by generators into electrical energy. The average volume of water and the height to which the water is thrown (head height) determine the amount of electrical energy produced. The hydro energy was used only for irrigation of land in the past but now they can be used to produce electricity on a very large scale.

So if you have a good water source near your home like a stream or a canal; then you can set up hydropower system near your home by building a dam and implanting an electric generator. This will not only help you to decrease your electric bills but it would also help you fulfill your duty as a citizen is keeping your land clean.

Why use Hydroelectric Power?

The first big advantage of hydroelectric power is that it can be used 24/7 because it depends upon the gravitational energy for its movement which is available all the time unlike tidal or solar energy. No fossil fuel or any other fuel has to be used in it so that the imports can be decreased ad fossils are not equally available in every country.

The production or carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses are very less which makes it environment-friendly. It is very long lasting and the effective cost is less as compared to electricity produced from other sources. It produces large amounts of electricity as compared to solar and wind energy. Many countries now use hydropower as their major electricity source.


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.