The term Hydroelectricity refers to electricity generated by hydropower. Hydropower is the term used to describe electricity produced though falling or flowing water and is the most commonly used form of renewable energy. Hydropower provides the United States with about 96 percent of its energy. It’s hard to go wrong with hydroelectric energy, seeing as hydroelectric power plants don’t use up a whole lot of resources to create electricity, nor do they pollute land, air or water like coal plants and other types of power plants are believed to do.
Again, hydroelectric electricity is produced from falling or flowing water, whether it’s from water falling off mountains or flowing in rivers or other bodies of water, it can be used to turn turbines and generator to ultimately produce electricity. Many look at it as a form of solar energy. The sun’s heat gives power to the hydrologic cycle which gives water to the earth by helping water from precipitation (rain and melted snow) reach larger bodies of water where it can flow to help produce energy.
Because of this fact, many hydroelectric power plants are found near rivers, streams, canals, and dams. Dams are especially important because they let water gather up, store it and then release it to be used for generating energy.
The dam consists of pipes carrying water from the reservoir to the turbine, and on its way to the turbine, the fast, high-pressured water force finds its way through the generator to produce electricity. The power goes from the generator, to the transformer to a circuit breaker. From there, it’s transmitted to power lines, then from a local plant to a pole transformer and into our homes and businesses.
Many of the most commonly known dams in the United States, including the Hoover Dam among others play a major role in providing electricity to residents all over America.