Saturday, February 18, 2012

Energia hidroelectric: in search of less ecological impact

We analyze the main ecological impacts derivations of hydroelectric dams and solutions that promise to overcome these problems in the future.

One of the oldest forms of energy is hydroelectric. Its use has been documented for centuries and is one of the most common forms of renewable energy. So common is its implementation in this regard, for example in EE.UU., the renewable energy sector gets hydropower 49% of its total production.

To qualify for hydroelectric power, require large amounts of water that fall, so the pressure exerted by water triggers the operation of turbines which - in turn - produce electricity..

Hydroelectric energy It is especially suitable for those areas that have very large amounts of water availability. Today, it constitutes 21 per cent of renewable energysources. Conventional hydropower generation methods require the use of dams which act as reservoirs of water to move the turbines and generators.

While the force of the water gives us an alternative more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels, the dams are expensive to build and generate a significant impact on the environment. Change the course of the rivers may involve diverting the water from which many people depend on for drinking, irrigation of crops, livestock, etc. This also implies flood large tracts of land (with their fields, natural habitats and even villages). And of course they also pose a risk to the ecosystem and the survival of fish and other aquatic animals.

To show all these points only enough with some examples. In our blogs we have on previous occasions brought news about the issues surrounding the construction of you dams or reservoirs. One of them, who took a certain international significance is the from the Belo Monte damin Brazil, where local Aboriginal groups were in a legal battle trying to preserve its ecosystem and natural resources on which they depend for their livelihood.

And without going so far in search of our example, not too long ago I contábamos the controversy raised here same in Spain before the adoption of the construction of the Reservoir Biscarrués and complaints from environmentalists groups regarding its impact on vast areas of great ecological value, many of them belonging to the Natura 2000 network.

Having said all that, it is now time to know what are the alternatives proposed to these problems.
In view of the many dangers that large reservoirs of water intended for the hydropower can pose, there is one growing urgency to get the same energy, but without the construction of dams. Fortunately, this urgency has given rise to attractive concepts that could well point to the abandonment of the construction of dams in the future.

Of these new alternatives of Hydroelectric energy without dams I discussed in detail in our next article where we will see what are the most promising projects in search of a sustainable hydropower.