Again: HYDRO IS CHEAP!
Energy density in stored elevated water is high:
So one liter of water per second on a turbine generates 720 watts of power. If this power can be continuously genreated for 24 hours per day for one month then the total number of KWH per month is then:
720 watts x 24 hours/day x 30 days/month = 518 Kwh/month.
Power generating capacity is directly proportional to the height the water falls. For a fall of say only 3 m, 30 times less electricity would be generated (e.g. 17 Kwh/month) - but this is just for a miniscule flow rate of 1 kg/sec.
Capacities of some large dams:
Grand Coulee 1942 6500 MW John Day 1969 2200 MW Niagara (NY) 1961 2000 MW The Dalles 1957 1800 MW Chief Joseph 1956 1500 MW McNary 1954 1400 MW Hoover 1936 1345 MW Glen Canyon 1964 950 MW
Pacific Northwest has 58 hydroelectric dams --> 63% of total electricity generated
Some Real Disadvantages:
Dams are frequently located upstream from major population centers:
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