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ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF HYDROPOWER
V. Ryan © 2005 - 2009
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1. Once a dam is constructed,
electricity can be produced at a constant rate.
2. If electricity is not needed, the sluice gates can be shut, stopping electricity generation. The water can be saved for use another time when electricity demand is high.
3. Dams are designed to last many decades and so can contribute to the generation of electricity for many years / decades.
4. The lake that forms behind the dam can be used for water sports and leisure / pleasure activities. Often large dams become tourist attractions in their own right.
5. The lake's water can be used for irrigation purposes.
6. The build up of water in the lake means that energy can be stored until needed, when the water is released to produce electricity.
7. When in use, electricity produced by dam systems do not produce green house gases. They do not pollute the atmosphere.
1. Dams are extremely expensive to
build and must be built to a very high standard.
8. Building a large dam alters the natural water table level. For example, the building of the Aswan Dam in Egypt has altered the level of the water table. This is slowly leading to damage of many of its ancient monuments as salts and destructive minerals are deposited in the stone work from ‘rising damp’ caused by the changing water table level.
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