The advantages and disadvantages of hydraulic energy are diverse and debatable, so in this article we will try to explain them in a summarized way, focusing on the essentials.
Both the pros and cons must be taken into account before opting for hydraulic energy, which is that which is obtained from the force or movement of water.
To generate hydraulic energy, hydroelectric plants are usually built where, to explain it very simply, water currents move turbines and allow electricity to be generated.
Next, you will learn more about this type of energy.
Advantages of hydraulic power
Among the advantages of hydraulic energy we can highlight:
- It is a renewable energy source: It is obtained from a natural resource such as water, of which there is no stock that can be extinguished (at least not in the short or medium term).
- Security: It is not risky, in the sense that it does not generate toxic waste, such as nuclear energy.
- It is flexible: It can be adapted to the requirements of the demand. This, unlike other energy sources. We can explain it as follows: To take advantage of hydraulic energy, dams are built, which are a kind of wall or barrier that allow water to be retained. Thus, its flow can be controlled, releasing more flow when the demand for energy increases, or reducing the flow when the demand decreases.
- Is stable: It is not so dependent on weather conditions. This, compared to other renewable sources such as solar energy, which relies on sunlight, or wind energy, which relies on wind. In the case of water currents, these are usually more regular.
- It is economical: The energy source is renewed for free and, furthermore, does not depend on the financial market, like gasoline or oil, for example. These are raw materials that depend on international prices.
Disadvantages of hydraulic power
As a counterpart, the disadvantages of hydraulic energy are:
- It can affect the environment: Although it does not generate toxic waste, the construction of hydroelectric plants and dams can affect the surrounding ecosystem. This, including both the fauna and the wild flora.
- It can be impacted by droughts: Although water can be stored, this does not mean that hydropower production cannot be affected in dry seasons.
- It is not easy to find the best place: Very particular geographical conditions are required to build a dam. Therefore, the places where this type of energy can be produced are limited.
- The construction of a hydroelectric plant is expensive: Although we mentioned that the source of hydraulic energy is cheap, it is expensive to build a plant to produce it. That is, a strong initial investment is required.