Hydel Power – Advantages & Disadvantages

The electricity that is generated from water is known as hydel power or hydroelectricity. It is generated when water stored in a dam falls from a great height on a turbine whose blades then move with a great force. This, in turn, rotates the generator and produces electricity. The hydropower projects are multipurpose projects because they are used for irrigation, water supply for domestic and industrial consumption and to control floods.


Advantages of Hydel power

  • It is a clean, non-polluting source of energy. It does not release any toxic gases. Natural Gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
  • It is a renewable source of energy that can be repeatedly used.
  • The dams built to produce hydroelectricity help in saving and restoring water.
  • It is economic and sustainable. The cost of electricity generation is cheaper than the electricity produced from fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Disadvantages of Hydel Power

  • The initial cost for building dams for generating hydroelectricity is extremely high.
  • Building large dams result in the destruction and submergence of forests on a large scale.
  • The building of huge dams may trigger earthquakes in an area.
  • Dam building may displace people from their villages. They may also lose their source of livelihood.

Bhakra Nangal Dam

This project is a joint venture of the Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan governments. The Bhakra Dam is the second-highest dam in India. Gobind Sagar is the name of the reservoir of the Bhakra dam. With a storage capacity of 9.3 billion cubic meters, it is the third-largest water reservoir in India. The Bhakra- Nangal project comprises of the following:

  • The Bhakra Dam: It is the second-highest and the third largest water reservoir in India.
  • The Nangal Dam: It is constructed at Nangal at river Satluj in Punjab. It supplies water to the Bhakra irrigation canal.
  • Power Houses: There are four powerhouses.
  • Bhakra Canal System: It irrigates the lands of Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan. The aim of the project Bhakra Nangal project are:
    • Provides water for irrigation
    • Generate hydro-electricity
    • Prevent flooding from Sutlej-Beas rivers

Hirakud Dam

This dam is built across the river Mahanadi. It was one of the earliest multipurpose river projects that started after independence. Its construction was completed in 1953. It is the longest major earthen dam in Asia. The dam also forms the biggest artificial lake in Asia. There are two observational towers on the dam at each side. One is Gandhi Minar and the other is Nehru Minar.

Benefits of the Hirakud Dam

  • The dam helps control floods in the Mahanadi delta ad irrigates 75,000 sq. km of land. The Bhakra – Nangal Project The Bhakra dam Power Houses Bhakra canal system The Nangal dam
  • The project provides irrigation to the ‘kharif’ and ‘rabi’ crops in districts of Sambalpur, Bargarh, Bolangir and Subarnpur.
  • The dam can generate upto 307.5 MW of electrical power through its two power plants at Burla and Chiplima.
  • Moreover, the project provides flood protection to 9, 5000 km2 of delta area in districts of Cuttack and Puri.

Also, Read Natural Gas – Advantages & Disadvantages