Why hydro?

Watch the National Hydropower Association's video "Hydropower in America's New Energy Era" by clicking on the image above.

Why hydro?

Hydropower is renewable because it draws its essential energy from the sun which drives the hydrological cycle which, in turn, provides a continuous renewable supply of water. It also provides an option to store energy, to optimize electricity generation. Hydropower’s storage capacity and fast response characteristics are especially valuable to meet sudden fluctuations in electricity demand and to match supply from less flexible electricity sources and variable renewable sources.  Hydropower is the most proven, efficient, flexible and reliable source of electricity based on more than a hundred years of experience. 

Hydroelectricity eliminates the flue gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion, including pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, dust, and mercury in the coal. Hydroelectricity also avoids the hazards of coal mining and the indirect health effects of coal emissions. Compared to nuclear power, hydroelectricity generates no nuclear waste, has none of the dangers associated with uranium mining, nor nuclear leaks. Unlike uranium, hydroelectricity is also a renewable energy source. 

Compared to wind and solar, hydroelectricity power plants have a more predictable load factor. If the project has a storage reservoir, it can generate power when needed. Hydroelectric plants can be easily regulated to follow variations in power demand.

Hydro plants are and should continue to be considered an essential component of the overall renewable energy mix along with wind, solar, wave, tidal and other sources.