Two primary disadvantages of hydroelectric power include the high investment cost and its reliance on precipitation. Hydropower facilities can have a negative impact on the environment, despite not causing pollution, including the loss of fish habitats, displacement of the local population and the inundation of surrounding land.Continue Reading
A hydroelectric power plant requires a water reservoir, the size of which depends on the size of hydroelectric generators and the topography of the land. Creating a reservoir negatively impacts the surrounding area by flooding land that could be used for agriculture instead. Furthermore, it has a damaging effect on the surrounding wildlife due to the power plant causing a change in the water temperature and modifying the river flow. Some reservoirs can lead to a buildup of methane that subsequently releases into the atmosphere.
Reservoirs also affect the quality of the water downstream of the facility. The water is more stagnant than normal, which leads to increased levels of sediment and nutrients that benefit the growth of algae and other aquatic weeds. If operators fail to periodically release enough water from the reservoir, the downstream water levels can drop significantly, endangering animal and plant life.
The use of hydroelectric power also carries the risk of a dam failure, which can have a catastrophic effect on downstream settlements and infrastructure.Learn more about Sustainability
Solar power, or the conversion of the sun's energy into electricity, is sustainable and renewable. The conversion process is silent and emission free and, solar panels usually require little maintenance. However, the sun is an inconsistent fuel source, the movement of the sun affects the efficiency of fixed solar panels and solar power systems are normally expensive and bulky.Full Answer >
As of the end of 2013, the country with the top wind power producing capacity in the world is China. Other top wind producing countries, in order, are the United States, Germany, Spain, India, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Canada and Denmark. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom and Denmark, rely heavily on offshore wind power, whereas other countries build most of their wind power facilities on land.Full Answer >
Wave power refers to power or energy harnessed from the waves in a body of water, most commonly the ocean. This energy is difficult to harness, so wave power stations are rare.Full Answer >
The most notable advantages of solar generators over fuel generators are: solar energy is renewable, it has no adverse environmental effects as compared to fuel power, and it is a free resource. The only costs incurred with solar power are the initial investment and maintenance costs.Full Answer >