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How hydropower
works

En+Group is the largest independent hydropower producer globally

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One of the oldest power sources

Hydropower is one of the oldest power sources worldwide. More than 2,000 years ago early Greeks used water wheels for mechanical tasks like grinding wheat as well as to saw wood and power textile mills and manufacturing plants. Hydropower became an electricity source in the late 19th century, after British-American engineer James Francis developed the first modern water turbine.

How hydroelectric power plants work

Hydropower plants use the power of falling or fast running water to produce energy. It supplies over 16 percent of global electricity and is the world’s largest source of renewable energy.

Fast-flowing water is captured

To generate energy from fast-flowing water, it must be captured. The most popular methods of achieving this are dams (power is produced through the release of stored water), “run-of-the-river” (through a constant flow of running water) and pumped storage (pumps are used to move stored water between reservoirs at different elevations).

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    Fast-flowing water is captured

    To generate energy from fast-flowing water, it must be captured. The most popular methods of achieving this are dams (power is produced through the release of stored water), “run-of-the-river” (through a constant flow of running water) and pumped storage (pumps are used to move stored water between reservoirs at different elevations).

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    The water is channelled into penstocks

    The fast-flowing water is directed into large pipes called penstocks, which are able to harness gravitational force of the falling liquid.

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    The penstocks turn power-generating turbines

    The penstocks are connected to turbines converting the gravitational force into energy. The precise amount of energy depends on the water volume and the difference in height between the source and outflow.

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Advantages
of hydropower generation

CO2 free generation. Hydropower plants do not emit CO2 in the atmosphere and help reduce greenhouse emissions

Low and stable cost base. The main resource of hydropower is rainwater which, unlike fossil fuels can be reused

Flexibility. A hydropower plant can provide an instant response to changes in demand allowing increased output in a short time frame to support peak loads

Long life cycle. Hydropower plants have a life span of over 100 years

Back-up. Constant, permanently available energy source, guaranteeing reliable supply, supporting intermittent renewable generation

Hydropower plants

have a life span of over 100 years

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The largest source of renewable energy

Unlike other types of power plants that rely on burning fossil fuels, hydro stations consume no water and produce no direct waste. Instead, they use the energy of falling or fast running water to produce power. The greenhouse gas emission rate of hydropower is very similar to that of nuclear or wind power. However, this emission rate is much lower than that of other power generation sources.
The latest IEA forecasts to 2023 project that Hydropower will remain the largest source of renewable electricity, followed by wind and solar
Russia has the second largest potential in the world for economically efficient hydropower generation. This is namely due to Russian rivers, which are recoverable energy sources that in total are able to provide more than 800 billion kWh of low- carbon electricity per annum

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