Hydro electric power is another bright hope for the future of energy. As with solar and wind, we’re simply harnessing energy that is already there in nature, without needing to burn, process or pollute.
The image above shows a hydro electric dam, which is the most common form. The water flows through turbines and produces electricity. Simple and effective.
There are risks and downsides here, for example, migratory Salmon and Sea Trout will struggle to make it to their spawning grounds, risking fragile fish stocks. Another problem is the unintended consequences of creating dams, the alter the flow of a river. Farmlands can dry up, and new places can flood.
Another forms of hydro electric power are the saltwater ones that harness energy from the tides, or waves. These technologies avoid the problems associated with damming rivers, but there are new problems. The salt water and harsh environment mean higher maintenance costs, and shorter lifespans of equipment.