Advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectricity and facts

Advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectricity

To meet the energy needs in every sector of life, humans use all the potential of natural resources that converted into energy, especially electricity. Here we discuss some advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectricity.

Hydropower is one renewable green energy source in the world in terms of power output. Hydropower is also the first renewable energy source for electricity production. It built the first hydropower plant in Niagara Falls, Canada, in 1879 and 1882.


Hydroelectric Power Plant or usually abbreviated as hydropower is a power plant that uses the power of water to converting it from potential energy to kinetic energy.

The Advantages and disadvantages of Hydroelectricity


Hydroelectric power has some advantages compared to other power plants. The following are the advantages of hydropower:

1- Hydroelectric power is faster in responding to the burden of electricity needs. This power plant is suitable for peak types, ie for large peak load conditions and as a backup when network outages occur.

2-Hydroelectricity power plants are environmentally friendly energy, free of carbon emissions so they do not cause pollution and the greenhouse effect. Emission gas produced by hydropower is smaller when compared to other power sources.

3-Hydro power plants produce greater electricity capacity compared to other plants. These advantages are very useful for supplying the electricity needs of our country.

4-Hydroelectric power age is very long, it can produce electricity for 50 to 100 years.

5-Hydroelectricity power plants in the form of reservoirs or dams can be a water tourism location. Also, it can be a means of learning about the potential of hydropower and opening up jobs for the surrounding community.

6-Reserved water reservoirs or dams can also be used for daily community needs, irrigation of rice fields, and water reserves during the dry season.


Even though it has various advantages, hydropower also has disadvantages compared to other power plants. The disadvantages of hydropower include:

1-Hydropower development requires very large funds and investments.

2-If the hydropower plant wants to produce a large electricity capacity, it requires an extensive area of land.

3-Disruption in lake or river ecosystems because of dam construction.

Above we discussed some advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectricity. Now we will discuss some facts about hydroelectricity. 

Interesting facts of hydroelectric power

1-Niagara Falls Hydroelectricity Power Plant is the most famous hydroelectric power station in the world.

2-Around 20% of the world's total electricity generated from hydroelectric power plants.

3-Hydroelectric power accounts for 10% of the electricity produced in the United States.

4-99% of electricity produced in Norway comes from Hydro Power Plants while in New Zealand the percentage is 75%.

5-The life span of a hydroelectric power plant is around 200 years.

Hydroelectric power plants have a significant contribution in reducing environmental pollution because it prevents the burning of the equivalent of 22 billion gallons of oil per year.

6-Of the 10 Largest Hydroelectricity Power Plants in the world, 2 are in China, 2 in Canada, 2 in Russia, 2 in Brazil, 1 in the United States, and 1 in Venezuela.

China is the largest producer of hydroelectric power plants in the world. The United States is the fourth-largest producer with great potential.

7-Washington is the largest consumer of hydroelectric power plants in the United States.

8-99% of the energy produced from renewable energy sources in the United States is from hydroelectric power plants.

9-60% of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the United States produced from hydroelectric power plants.

10-There are 4 main classes of technology used in hydroelectric power plants, namely: conventional, micro-hydro, run-of-river, hydrokinetic, and pumped storage.

11-hydroelectricity power plants in the world are larger than 10 GW. These are China Three Gorges Dam, Brazil Itaipu Dam, and Venezuela Guri Dam.

12-Hydro generators can start generating electricity within 90 seconds and this makes them suitable for backup generators in the event of a failure.

13-There are over 100 hydroelectric power plants in Australia that produce most of the renewable energy produced in the country.

Hydroelectric economic facts

There are some interesting and important economic facts about hydroelectric power plants:

  • Hydroelectric power eliminates fuel costs in electricity production.
  • The increase in fuel prices does not affect the cost of electricity production from hydroelectric power plants.
  • Hydroelectric power has a longer life span than fossil fuel plants.
  • Hydroelectricity power has cheap labor operating costs because their operations are fully automated and it requires few people on-site.

So, these are some advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectricity.

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