In the year 2002 the United States is facing a huge energy crisis. The United States is rushing to build more power plants. These plants, which include coal, nuclear, oil and gas, not only create a lot of pollution and other harmful effects, but they also use valuable, nonrenewable resources. States such as California and New York do not have enough power to supply their thousands and thousands of homes and are sometimes forced to use rolling blackouts. These blackouts are used because the power companies do not have enough power to supply all of the customers, so they have to cut the power of some customers for an amount of time. .
Power companies should start looking to use alternative renewable resources as a way to get the extra needed power to supply the growing number of customers. These alternate power sources include solar energy, wind power and hydroelectricity. Hydroelectric power is a great alternative to conventional ways of generating power. .
Hydroelectricity is a renewable energy source that is made from the energy created from falling water. It causes hardly any pollution (Humphrys, 100). The energy from flowing water is converted into hydropower. A typical hydropower plant has five main parts. Malcom explains that they are a dam, a reservoir, penstocks or pipes, a powerhouse, and an electrical power substation (hydroelectric, 1998).
The way a hydroelectric plant works is simple, but complex at the same time. The first step is water being stored in a dam and creating the head. Water is then carried from the reservoir to turbines by the penstocks. The turbines, which are pushed around by falling water, drive generators that produce the electricity. The electricity is then carried to the substation where a transformer can transmit the electricity to homes, businesses, and factories (hydroelectricity, 1998).
Many believe the benefits of hydropower far outweigh the negatives aspects of it.