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Hydroelectric Energy Production


Hydroelectric energy is a form of electricity production made from flowing water. The flowing water, majorly stored in a reservoir is run through a steep ground to rotate turbines which help in generating the electric power. Hydroelectricity is the simplest, cheapest to countries and a renewable source of energy obtained from many countries across the globe (Wagner & Mathur, 2011). This paper identifies the hydroelectric energy, while discussing the impacts, benefits as the cons of the method, as well as recommendation to the government of South Australia to use the method in energy generation.

History of Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric power has been used for over 135 years now since its inception (Aswathanarayana et al., 2010). The earliest innovation was conceived in china, between 202 BC and 9 AD. The era of Han Dynasty powered trip hammers in a vertical set connected to a wheel which was used to pound the hull grain, while breaking the early paper making. However the potential of the hydroelectric power was then being stalled due to its potential to kick-start the economic growth. Since then, in England Derwent valley Richard Arkwright set up a Cornford mill to spin cotton, while setting up the world’s first factory system, in the year 1771 (Aswathanarayana et al., 2010). The hydroelectric power was then used as the only source of energy.

Aswathanarayana et al., (2010) assert that in 827 BC, the French engineer benefit developed a one turbine which was capable of producing 6 horsepower, one of the earliest reaction turbines. In 1849, a British –American engineer James Francis developed a modern water turbine, named after him, the Francis turbine. This turbine remains to be the only turbine used in the world today.

As Pearse (2012) asserts, in the 1870s, an American inventor Allan Pelton developed a wheel used in the hydroelectric power generation, the Pelton wheelman impulse water when turbine, and patented it in 1880. An Australian professor victor Kaplan developed the Kaplan turbine in 1913, a propeller with adjustable planes.

Pearse (2012) ascribes that in the first half of 20th century, the US and the Canada lead the hydroelectric power generation with over 1345 MW power generation from the hydroelectric plants. The hoover dam in the Colorado River became the largest hydroelectric power plan reservoir in the world in the year 1376, then surpassed by the Grand Coulee dam with 1974MW by then and 6809 MW for now in Washington by 1942 (Doeden, 2010). Currently, the Chinese’ three gorges dam is the largest hydroelectric power dam in the world with 22, 500 MW, followed by Brazil’s Itapu dam, with 14,000 MW.

Pros and Cons of Hydroelectric Energy Generation.

According to Tiwari and Vaish (2012), the following are the benefits of the hydroelectric power generation;

  1. Hydroelectric energy helps in the efforts of slowing or reducing the global warning, since it’s an environmental friendly energy production. Hydroelectric power generation does not result in environmental pollution, neither does it release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

  2. Hydroelectric energy saves the society a lot of money, since it is cheap to generate, compared to other expensive forms of energy production, such as the nuclear power. The power has a low operating costs,

  3. Hydroelectric energy provides a reliable energy production, as long as the water in the rivers and the dams keeps flowing, this form of energy will become sustainable for the future generations, with no depletion.

  4. Hydroelectric energy generates employment opportunities. Since many people are involved in the next generation plans as well as the energy distribution, this form of energy can employ up to a thousand people in a single mega plant.

Wagner and Mathur (2011) asserts that the following are the cons of hydroelectric power generation.

  1. Hydroelectric energy generation plant may be expensive to install especially where the power is needed in large scale. The costs incurred in installing these instruments, as well running the initial costs may be expensive for the parties sponsoring the project. The construction of a dam may be expensive.

  2. Drought. The Hydroelectric energy depends entirely on presence of water in the reservoir, which can be compromised during the drought season, during dry season, the power generation may reduce to low levels and affect the sectors relying on this power. hence the climatic condition can hinder the electricity production

  3. Hydroelectric power generation may result into a negative environmental impact. This results when the dams hold slot of water, therefore altering the flow of water, to areas they’re supposed to swerve while enhance an environmentally sustainability.

Recommendations to the South Australian Government

The following are the recommendations of hydroelectric power generation to the south Australian government;

  1. South Australian government should despise other energy projects and prefer the hydroelectric energy is renewable source of energy to use, hence environmental friendly. The government of south Australian should indulge in projects which discourage global warming. Therefore, the government is therefore urged to utilise the potential.

  2. The Hydroelectric power is cheap to make compared to other sources of energy. The government of South Australia should therefore consider this form of energy production, which requires less effort as well as a less cost to run. This can spare the government adopt of funds to run other projects.

  3. Hydroelectric power is clean and reliable to the southern Australia, whose claimant is majorly served by the patterns of rainfall. The government should commence multiple hydroelectric dams in the Finke River, the river Toments, Cooper River as well as other major rivers in the state.

  4. Hydroelectric energy is the best solution to t most of the neighbourhoods who require electric energy, and have no connection to electric power grid. Hydroelectric power can help run other electricity demands, hence a recommended energy production method for the government.


The hydroelectric energy generation is one of the best energy production methods. This method requires the running water to run turbines which ate connected to machines and generate electricity, the hydroelectric energy generation has a greeter history, dating back in the 200 years BC, until today when the method has been applied in most countries to provide and environmentally friendly electric power generation. The advantages of this form of energy are reliable to favour its inception to the south Australian government.


Aswathanarayana, U., Harikrishnan, T. & Sahini, K. (2010). Green energy: technology, economics, and policy. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Doeden, M. (2010). Green energy crucial gains or economic strains. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books.

Pearse, G. (2012). Greenwash big brands and carbon scams. Collingwood, Vic: Black Inc

Tiwari, M. & Vaish, A. (2012). Green energy. Aalborg, Denmark: River Publishers.

Wagner. & Mathur, J. (2011). Introduction to hydro energy systems basics, technology and operation. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

Wagner. & Mathur, J. (2011). Introduction to hydro energy systems basics, technology and operation. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.