Hydroelectric Power

How It Works

The movement of water as it flows downstream makes kinetic energy that can be changed into electricity. A hydroelectric power plant converts this energy into electricity by forcing water, often held in a dam, through a turbine that is attatched to a generator. The water leaves the turbine and flows back into a stream or riverbed below the dam.
  • Water is free and a renewable resource
  • There are no carbon emissions
  • The hydro power plants are cheap to operate
  • Water is the most common resource on earth

  • Hydro electricity power plants cost alot of money to build
  • Dams are a threat to cities that lie downstream from them
  • Flooding can destroy plant and animal life
  • Dams can cause soil erosion and destroy the natural surrounding environment

Why Was It Developed?

Hydroelectric power was developed as a means to cleaner, more effecient energy.


Hydropower has been in use for thousands of years, to grind flour and perform other tasks. In the mid-1770s, a French engineer Bernard Forest de BĂ©lidor published Architecture Hydraulique which described vertical- and horizontal-axis hydraulic machines. By the late 19th century, the electrical generator was developed and could now be coupled with hydraulics.