Hydropower is one of the oldest and most magnificent forms of natural energy. It has been used to make the lives of ancient and modern civilizations more productive. Knowledge about hydro energy isn’t as prevalent as you might think, and there are things about hydropower that you probably still don’t know. Here are three cool facts about hydropower that you should be aware of.
It’s Been Used for Ages
For thousands of years, people have been harnessing the power of water, using it as a source of energy to grind wheat, operate power saws for cutting wood and manufacture goods. One of the first ways water was employed to generate power was through the use of water wheels, and mills have been around for over 2,000 years. Water mills used the kinetic energy of constantly flowing liquid to create enough power to operate simple machinery. Since the 19th century, hydropower has been used to generate electricity, which is also known as hydroelectricity.
It’s Incredibly Efficient
As one of the oldest forms of generating energy, hydropower is no longer thought of as an efficient technology by many today, but hydro energy is at least twice as efficient as most other common sources of energy at transforming the respective medium into electricity. In comparison to fossil fuels, hydropower is 40 percent more efficient, but it is still not as commonly used as other nonrenewable energy sources. However, a vast amount of energy is created through hydropower as modern turbines are able to generate increasing output that utilizes almost 100% of the energy that’s available to produce electricity.
It’s Totally Renewable
Hydropower uses continuously flowing water in a nearly infinite cycle, making it a positively renewable source of energy. The natural process of evaporation also bolsters hydropower’s reputation as a renewable energy source. When the sun shines, water evaporates and forms clouds, eventually causing precipitation that perpetuates the cycle of renewal. Power harnessed from water is not only renewable, but it also emits no harmful toxins into the air to damage our environment. It is simply a safe and clean method of harnessing energy to create electricity.
With a history that spans centuries, hydropower continues to be one of the most efficient and clean ways to produce energy from a natural resource. It’s a renewable source of energy capable of generating incredible amounts of power. These basic facts about hydro energy continue to fascinate and inform people today.
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