Hydro power

What is hydro power?

Hydro power is a remarkable form of renewable energy that harnesses the relentless power of flowing water to generate electricity.

It strategically places dams, turbines, and generators along rivers and reservoirs, converting the kinetic energy of rushing water into the electricity that powers our lives.

Beyond meeting our energy needs, hydropower prioritises minimal environmental impact, making it a vital player in our transition to a greener, more sustainable future.

Whether through serene run-of-river systems or massive reservoir-based projects, hydropower stands as a symbol of innovation, propelling us towards a cleaner, brighter tomorrow.

How hydro power works

Here is a brief outline of how hydro power is generated and distributed:

  1. Water Source:
    • Hydro power plants are strategically located near water sources like rivers, dams, or reservoirs, with water volume and flow rate being critical considerations.
  2. Dam or Reservoir:
    • Dams are often constructed across rivers, forming reservoirs that control water flow and elevation.
  3. Penstock:
    • Water is channeled through a sturdy pipe known as a penstock, flowing from the reservoir to the power station. This descent generates potential energy due to the height difference.
  4. Turbine:
    • The rushing water is directed onto the blades of a turbine, causing them to spin. Turbines efficiently convert the kinetic energy of water into mechanical energy.
  5. Generator:
    • Connected to the turbine, the generator transforms mechanical motion into electricity through electromagnetic induction.
  6. Transmission and Distribution:
    • The electricity generated, typically in the form of alternating current (AC), is sent through transformers to increase voltage. This higher voltage is suitable for efficient transmission over power lines to homes and businesses.
  7. Control Systems:
    • Sophisticated control systems oversee water flow, turbine speed, and electricity output, ensuring efficient and responsive plant operation.

Environmental Considerations

Hydro power projects can have environmental impacts, particularly large dams. Modern projects often incorporate measures to minimise these impacts on ecosystems.

Types of Hydro power

Different hydro power types, including run-of-river, storage hydro power, and pumped storage, are tailored to meet various needs while considering environmental concerns.

Benefits of Hydro power

Hydro power is a clean and renewable energy source that produces no direct greenhouse gas emissions. It provides reliable electricity for a wide range of applications.


In summary, hydropower captures energy from flowing or falling water through a series of components, such as dams, penstocks, turbines, generators, and control systems. It’s a sustainable source of clean energy used worldwide.