Hydroelectric power generation requires a dam, penstock, control gate, surge tank, water turbine, and generator. The use of hydroelectricity to meet the needs of society has many advantages like environmental pollution is nil, system efficiency is high, itâ€™s a renewable source of energy hydraulic turbine running cost is low compared to another turbine. Further, there are certain disadvantage like the cost of installation is high, since it depends on water electric power generation stops when there is no water, it also needs high surface area affecting the nearby farmers who have land, the population of an aquatic organism is also affected. Water is provided by the natural water cycle, where the runoff and snow get collected in lakes and rivers. This water runs to the dam that is built downstream. This water out from the dam which comes with great energy enters the powerhouse to rotate a large wheel called turbine, which in turn rotates a series of magnets past copper coils present in the generator. This creates electricity which the transmission line carries to communities.
Columbia River and its tributaries are the major sources of power generation in the pacific northwest.About 40 % of electricity in the northwest is produced by federal dams in Columbia.This is sold by Bonneville power administration.This river is 1,214 miles and runs through multiple mountain ranges.Columbia provides the excellent footing for dams through its rocky canyons.The addition of nonfederal dams further increases the quantity of power generated.Three dams in British Columbia and 11 dams in the United States,in a total of 14 dams are present through this river. In addition to providing electricity to homes,businesses, and industries it also provides electricity to agriculture and farming. Further, this system plays a major role in controlling floods.It was only after the Columbia river treaty in the 1960s building of major dams started.Around the 1980s this was almost over giving rise to big dams.The major threat to hydroelectricity generation from dams is maintaining the river temperature.
Hydroelectric dams and environmental impact:
Around 249 tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is prevented by dams by avoiding the burning of fossil fuels, thus preventing the problem of global warming and ozone layer depletion. Although it has many benefits it also has negative impacts in the sense that dams prevent fish passage. In 1992, Sockeye salmon and Chinook salmon were listed as endangered species, and this leads to a major debate in hydroelectric power generation from dams. One of the measures to encounter this problem was is releasing water that tends to speed the migration of fishes downstream. These contribute only to a small extent and thus many debates and measures are continuous carries out. Some of these additional measures include the screening of fishes, catching squawfish which preys on juvenile salmons,fish ladder introduction.Measures and funds are raised to provide advanced dam systems like the new design of the turbine.Continuous scientific inquiries and research are made to recover salmon.License for hydroelectricity generation by building dams is given by the Federal energy regulatory commission.These licenses are now being given with the utmost care and also consider environmental impacts.They also enforce to bring enhancement strategies to improve salmon.Even many federal and state agencies like National Marine fisheries service, National parks service, State fish and wildlife agencies along with these government agencies there are many non-profit groups like the Sierra Club and various boating groups There is a demand from tribes to remove three major hydroelectric dams because these dams destroyed the critical fishing spots and also stops the migration of salmon.
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