Hydropower is one of the oldest and most reliable sources of energy. However, fossil fuels still have the edge over hydropower, and here are some of the most important reasons why world isn’t using more hydropwer.
First of all there is an environmental impact. Building large hydroelectric power plants can lead to major environmental damage, for instance pumped storage of hydropower can affect the natural flow of the river system.
Hydropower has high initial costs. Building hydroelectric power plant requires large monetary investment.
The negative impact of droughts, especially since our climate is changing, leads to decease in overall generation from hydroelectric power plants.
There is also a limited number of plant locations where hydroelectric power plants can be built.
Hydropower can also lead to methane and carbon emissions, when the plants at the bottom of reservoir start to decompose.
Sometimes there is also a flood risk, especially when dams are built on higher elevations.
Hydroelectric power plants can have adverse impact on river ecosystems, for instance fish may have trouble reaching their breeding ground.
Powerful fossil fuel lobbies who have interest in keeping their dominance and thus hinder the development of other energy sectors.
Hydropower plants can cause low dissolved oxygen levels in the water.