Essay on Hydroelectric Reservoirs and Greenhouse Gases

Essay on Hydroelectric Reservoirs and Greenhouse Gases

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Introduction
Water is essential to support life on Earth. Naturally rainfall is not evenly distributed by season or geographical region making water reservation a crucial component of water accessibility (Yuksel, 2010). Constructing a dam to reserve water is primarily used as storage for human consumption; which in modern times has been ameliorated to produce hydroelectricity and in some circumstances is used solely for hydropower (Gagnon and Van De Vate, 1997).
An increasing demand for energy is putting strain on our natural resources and placing global warming at our front door. In order to sustain current consumption rates and allow for a future increase, renewable energy sources must be employed. Hydropower globally provides 6% of the total energy and 15% of the total electricity, a significant contribution to the overall power consumption (Kikuchi and Amaral, 2008).
Hydropower provides a large-scale alternative to power generation, which is believed to create negligible amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) and atmospheric pollutants (Yuksel, 2010). Hydropower plants are so well accepted socially and economically because they often facilitate for other anthropogenic demands (recreation, potable water, transport etc.) (Klimpt and Rivero et al., 2002). (Yuksel, 2010) regard the use of renewable energies such as hydropower to be one of the most efficient and effective soloutions to provide energy.


Summary
There is a consensus among recent journal articles that gives reason to believe that hydropower plants are not as clean and green as they are portrayed. Flooding that occurs after construction, is the highest contributor to GHG production (Gagnon and Van De Vate, 1997) where the degradation of biomass (organic matter) through b...


... middle of paper ...


...released from hydroelectric power facilities. Bioresource technology, 99 (13), pp. 5967--5971.

Klimpt, J., Rivero, C., Puranen, H. and Koch, F. 2002. Recommendations for sustainable hydroelectric development. Energy policy, 30 (14), pp. 1305--1312.

Raadal, H. L., Gagnon, L., Modahl, I. S. and Hanssen, O. J. 2011. Life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the generation of wind and hydro power. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 15 (7), pp. 3417--3422.
Soimakallio, S., Kiviluoma, J. and Saikku, L. 2011. The complexity and challenges of determining GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from grid electricity consumption and conservation in LCA (life cycle assessment)--a methodological review. Energy, 36 (12), pp. 6705--6713.


Yuksel, I. 2010. Hydropower for sustainable water and energy development. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 14 (1), pp. 462--469.

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