Q:

What are disadvantages of hydroelectric power?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

 Know More

Full Answer

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

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some limitations of solar energy?

    A:

    The chief limitations of solar energy include an inability to generate power at night, an inability to ramp up power production to meet demand, and the cost of solar panels. Transferring the electricity from areas where solar is more efficient to other areas of the planet is also a problem.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are disadvantages of sustainable development?

    A:

    There are several disadvantages to sustainable development. One of them is that it is normally more costly to create goods and services in an environmentally safe way than in a non-sustainable and harmful manner.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of federalism?

    A:

    According to Dr. Dianne Berman of Santa Monica College, the advantages of federalism include the ability to experiment with policy, empowerment of local government, opportunities for direct democracy and decentralization of power. The disadvantages of federalism include conflict between regional and national governments and inequality between regional governments.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What are the disadvantages of parallel circuits?

    A:

    The major disadvantage of parallel circuits as compared to series circuits is that the power remains at the same voltage as the voltage of a single power source. Other disadvantages include the split of an energy source across the entire circuit, and lower resistance. Parallel circuits are those that have more than one output device or power source. For electricity to flow, they utilize more than one path.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore