One of the biggest disadvantages of hydroelectric energy is the major disturbance that damming a river causes to the surrounding people, animals and habitat. Another problem is that dams and hydroelectric power plants take many years to build and are incredibly expensive, although they do have only minimal costs once completed. Water must be abundant in the area, and maintenance standards must be strict.
The ability of a hydroelectric power plant to create electricity depends entirely on water flow, so it requires a location with regular precipitation. If enough rain doesn't fall each year to continually fill the reservoir created by the dam, the hydroelectric power plant cannot continuously generate electricity.
When an area is flooded after a dam is built, the trees and other plant life in that area quickly die and begin to decompose. When this happens, methane and carbon dioxide are released into the reservoir and eventually into the atmosphere. The dam also causes another problem when the water picks up added nitrogen flowing through it, which can be toxic to fish and result in the death of marine populations.
Dams also pose a major risk if they break or are destroyed, which would send out a massive wall of water and destroy anything downstream.Learn More
Nuclear energy is non-renewable because the energy nuclear power produces cannot constantly be replenished. An energy source must have resources that can be replenished to be considered renewable.Full Answer >
Thermal energy moves from one object to another through heat energy. Heat energy moves through convection, conduction and radiation. The internal movement of atoms generates energy in matter. As the temperature of matter increases, the internal movement also increases.Full Answer >
Geothermal energy is used to supply heat for industrial purposes. It may also be used to promote agricultural and aquaculture production in cold climates by heating soils, aquaculture ponds and greenhouses. In addition, high-temperature geothermal energy is used to generate electricity.Full Answer >
The primary heat source for the Earth is the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and potassium, found in the mantle and crust. The Earth produces more heat through phase changes, such as the freezing of liquid iron in the inner core and minerals in other parts of its core. In addition, the slow cooling process of the Earth gives off heat that melts magma.Full Answer >