हाइड्रो इलेक्ट्रॉनिक क्या है?

Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is the generation of electricity from hydropower (water power). It is a form of renewable energy that utilizes the natural water cycle and gravitational force of flowing or falling water to produce electricity. The energy of the flowing water turns a turbine, which powers a generator to produce electricity.

Hydroelectric power plants capture the energy created from dammed river water flowing through turbines to generate electricity. The force of the moving water spins the hydro turbines, which in turn rotate electromagnets that generate electricity. The amount of electricity generated depends on the volume and flow of the water as well as the variation in height between the water’s source and outlet.


The use of hydropower dates back thousands of years. Ancient civilizations used water wheels to grind grains and perform other tasks. The first known use of hydropower was in 2500 B.C. in Egypt, where the water wheel was first invented [1]. Water wheels were also used by the Romans to grind wheat into flour over 2,000 years ago [2].

However, it was not until the late 19th century that hydropower began being used to generate electricity. In 1878, the world’s first hydroelectric power plant was built on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin [3]. This small plant produced 12.5 kilowatts of power. Then in 1882, the first commercial hydroelectric power plant opened on the Fox River, also in Wisconsin [1]. This began the era of harnessing the power of water to produce electricity.

How Hydroelectric Power Plants Work

Hydroelectric power plants convert the energy of flowing water into electricity. Here are the main components and how they work:

Dam and Reservoir – A dam is constructed to store water in a reservoir. The reservoir creates a height difference for the water, called head. The greater the head, the more power can be generated.

Intake – An intake structure controls water flow into the penstock pipe that leads to the turbine. It includes trash racks to stop debris from entering the system.

Turbine – The water strikes and turns blades in a turbine, spinning a shaft connected to a generator. Common turbine types are Kaplan, Francis and Pelton.

Generator – As the shaft spins, it rotates magnets inside coils of wire, generating alternating current electricity. The electricity is sent through transformers to increase voltage for transmission.

After passing through the turbine, the water flows out the tailrace tunnel and rejoins the river downstream. By harnessing the natural flow of water, hydroelectric plants convert its energy into useful electric power with no combustion or waste products.

Types of Hydropower Facilities

There are three main types of hydropower facilities:


An impoundment facility, commonly referred to as a dam, is the most common type of hydroelectric power plant. Water is accumulated in reservoirs created by dams across a river, and then allowed to flow through the dam and spin a turbine connected to a generator to produce electricity. The height of the water behind the dam creates potential energy, which is converted to kinetic energy as the water flows through the penstocks and turns the turbine blades. Some examples are the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and the Three Gorges Dam in China (Energy.gov).


A diversion facility channels a portion of a river through a canal or penstock, bypassing a section of the river. The diverted water rotates turbines to generate electricity and is then returned to the river downstream. Diversion facilities are sometimes referred to as run-of-river plants because they utilize the natural flow of the river. These plants have a smaller footprint than impoundment facilities and impact the environment less.

Pumped Storage

A pumped storage facility stores energy by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir when electricity demand is low. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released back to the lower reservoir through a turbine. Pumped storage facilities act like a battery, allowing energy to be stored and generated when needed. This enables greater grid reliability and integration of other renewable energy sources like solar and wind (International Hydropower Association).

Advantages of Hydropower

Hydropower offers several key advantages that make it an important renewable energy source:

Renewable – Hydropower is considered a renewable energy source because it uses the earth’s water cycle to generate electricity. As long as there is flowing water, hydropower can produce electricity without being depleted. Rain and snow replenish the water in rivers and reservoirs used by hydropower plants.

Reliable – Hydropower can generate electricity 24/7 as needed because the flow of water can be controlled through dams and reservoirs. This makes hydropower a reliable baseload power source not dependent on weather conditions like solar and wind power.

Cost-effective – Once a hydropower system is built, operating costs are relatively low compared to other energy sources. Water is free, making the cost of hydroelectricity very stable over time. The average cost per kWh is lower compared to wind or solar energy.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Hydropower provides benefits beyond electricity generation by providing flood control, irrigation support, and clean drinking water.” (https://www.energy.gov/eere/water/benefits-hydropower)

Disadvantages of Hydropower

While hydropower offers many benefits, there are some notable downsides to consider as well.

One major disadvantage is the high upfront costs associated with building hydropower plants and dams. Constructing a dam and reservoir can cost billions of dollars and take many years to complete (Source). This requires massive amounts of capital investment before the project can even begin generating electricity.

Hydropower facilities and dams can also negatively impact local ecosystems and environments. By altering the natural flow of rivers and streams, fish migration patterns can be disrupted. Flooding land for a reservoir displaces animals and people living in those areas. The changes to river flows and flooded vegetation also impacts water quality (Source).

Major Hydropower Projects

Some of the largest and most famous hydropower projects in the world include:

  • The Three Gorges Dam in China is the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity at 22,500 MW, generating around 100 TWh per year. The dam spans the Yangtze River and created a reservoir 600 km long. Construction was completed in 2006 after 17 years.
  • Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_hydroelectric_power_stations

  • The Itaipu Dam on the Brazil/Paraguay border has an installed capacity of 14,000 MW generated from 20 turbine generators, making it the second largest hydroelectric power plant in the world. Annually, it generates around 93.4 TWh of electricity.
  • The Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state, USA is one of the largest dams in the world. Completed in 1942, it has a generating capacity of 6,809 MW from 33 separate power generators.
  • The Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam in Russia is the largest power plant in Russia and the sixth largest hydroelectric plant in the world, with an installed capacity of 6,400 MW.
  • The Robert-Bourassa Dam (formerly La Grande-2) in Quebec, Canada has a generating capacity of 5,616 MW, making it one of the largest hydropower developments in North America.

Hydropower Generation by Country

China is by far the largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world, generating over 1,200 billion kWh of power from hydropower in 2021 (Source). This accounts for about 30% of the world’s total hydroelectric generation. Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam, is located in China and has a capacity of 22,500 MW.

Other top hydroelectricity producing countries include:

  • Brazil – 363 billion kWh (8.9% of world total)
  • Canada – 377 billion kWh (9.3% of world total) (Source)
  • United States – 260 billion kWh (6.4% of world total)

Brazil gets about 65% of its electricity from hydropower, primarily from dams located in the Amazon River basin. Major projects include the Itaipu Dam on the Paraná River and the Tucuruí Dam on the Tocantins River. The United States generates hydroelectricity mainly in the western states, including the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington.

Future of Hydropower

Hydropower has significant potential for future growth, especially in developing countries. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global hydropower capacity is forecast to increase by 17% or 230 GW between 2021 and 2030.[1] However, most of this growth is expected to come from China, India, Africa and Latin America as mature markets like North America and Europe have already developed most of their viable hydropower resources.

Several new technologies and innovations may support future hydropower growth. Advances in pumped storage technology can enable greater grid stability and integration of variable renewables like wind and solar. New turbine designs allow more generating capacity in the same footprint, and modular hydropower units can access small streams and rivers. Technologies like reverse pumped hydro and floating solar panels on reservoirs can increase the storage capabilities of hydropower projects.[2]


हाइड्रो इलेक्ट्रिसिटी नवीकरणीय ऊर्जा का एक महत्वपूर्ण स्रोत है जो पानी की ऊर्जा का उपयोग करके विद्युत उत्पन्न करता है। यह स्वच्छ, हरित ऊर्जा है जो कार्बन उत्सर्जन में कमी लाने में मदद कर सकती है। हाइड्रोपावर सबसे पुराने और सबसे अधिक विश्वसनीय नवीकरणीय ऊर्जा स्रोतों में से एक है। आज, दुनिया भर में कई देश हाइड्रोइलेक्ट्रिक ऊर्जा पर निर्भर करते हैं।

भविष्य में, हाइड्रोपावर की भूमिका नवीकरणीय ऊर्जा मिश्रण में महत्वपूर्ण बनी रहेगी। नई परियोजनाओं के विकास और मौजूदा सुविधाओं के उन्नयन के साथ, हाइड्रोइलेक्ट्रिक ऊर्जा वैश्विक ऊर्जा आवश्यकताओं को पूरा करने में मदद करती रहेगी। साफ़-सफाई, नवीकरणीय विकल्प के रूप में, हाइड्रोपावर आने वाले वर्षों में हमारी ऊर्जा आपूर्ति का एक महत्वपूर्ण हिस्सा बना रहेगा।

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