Hydro Power

Hydro Power

Hydroelectric energy is generated by the flow of water. Falling water is directed and controlled to turn turbines, which convert the water’s kinetic energy into electrical energy. BC gets the majority of its power this way. It’s easy with our high mountains and plentiful rainfall.

The drawbacks of hydro power are due to dams and reservoirs. Dams and reservoirs maintain and control the rate of flow of the water. The rate of flow in a river can vary considerably over the course of a year. If we just placed a turbine in a river, it would turn quickly in the winter (when there’s lots of rain) and slowly in the dry summer. Instead, we use dams and reservoirs to store a great volume of water and release it gradually.

Storing water this way can destroy farmland and animal habitats—although the reservoir also provides recreational opportunities.

How it works

Water is stored above a city or town in a reservoir and released in a controlled fashion through the dam. As it falls, it turns turbines that generate electrical energy.


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