With global warming bringing in many concerns, there has been a rapid shift towards the usage of renewable sources of energy especially for the generation of electricity. It is estimated that by 2035, more than half of the electricity production of the world will come from renewable sources of energy. Primarily hydro energy, solar energy, and wind energy are utilized for the production of renewable electricity. Out of these three, hydropower is the most common and widely used form of renewable energy used to generate electricity.
As of now, electricity generated from hydropower stands at a figure of more than 1300 GW. This accounts for more than 18% of the total electricity produced worldwide and 54% of the total electricity produced worldwide from renewable sources of energy. Generating electricity via hydropower includes building large dams on rivers wherein an artificial reservoir is constructed and water released from this reservoir drives the turbines to generate electricity.
Second to hydropower comes wind energy as the most widely utilized renewable source of energy. Total electricity generated from wind energy worldwide comes out to be more than 560 GW that is close to 24% of the total electricity generated worldwide from renewable sources of energy.
Why Hydropower is the most widely-used renewable power source?
Hydropower is the most widely-used renewable power source. Since ancient times we have been building dams on water and using the energy of water for various needs. Apart from this ancient connection, the following are the benefits of using hydropower.
- Since we are generating electricity from water, it is a clean source of fuel. It won’t pollute the air like the non-renewable sources of energy. Traditional fossil fuels like coal and natural gas when utilized to produce electricity generate a large amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere contributing to global warming and air pollution. Coal mining and drilling for natural gas pollute nearby water bodies as well resulting in water pollution.
- A nation can reduce its power imports by using hydropower and eventually become self-reliant in terms of power. Moreover, a nation can even generate surplus power and become a power exporter.
- Since while constructing a dam, an artificial reservoir must be constructed; this artificial lake becomes a public recreational spot contributing to the economy of the area. This generates jobs for qualified individuals living in the area.
- Hydropower generation projects can generate power to the grid on an immediate basis, so they serve as a major backup during electricity outages or any kind of disruption.
- Apart from the production of electricity, numerous other services are provided by hydropower projects like flood control, water supply, and irrigation.
Final Words – Hydropower the most widely-used renewable power source
These were the reasons why hydropower is the most widely-used renewable power source. In the coming years, the contribution of hydropower to the world’s total electricity output is likely to increase significantly.