Disadvantages of hydraulic powerDisadvantages of hydraulic power
The main disadvantages of hydraulic energy are:
Hydroelectric plants require an important development of the infrastructure that will produce electricity . Without these infrastructures, Spain could only have about 8-9% of natural water contributions, compared to 37-47% that we can currently use thanks to the 56,000 Hm3 of reservoir capacity. Of these, approximately 40% correspond to reservoirs built by hydroelectric companies.
The construction of large dams , like any other civil work, generates negative effects on the environment during the construction period, so much so that sometimes the disappearance under the waters of the entire population reservoir, such as the San Marsh Clement , whose waters have covered the old town of the same name in Huescar. Although with the experience and approval of more demanding legislation, less and less impactful methods for the environment have been developed.
Once put into operation, they can continue to cause damage to the environment, since they modify the ecological habitat of the surrounding vegetation and the fish and other species that live in the water . Occasionally, this can also affect the quality of the reservoir water.
In addition, many areas of our planet face serious water supply problems . Drought periods and population growth have aggravated the situation. In these areas, scarce water resources must be allocated primarily to populations, livestock and agriculture and there are hardly any resources for the development of hydroelectric plants or they cannot reach their full potential.
Other inconveniences are related to the difficulty of foreseeing the production of energy that the facilities will be able to generate , since they depend on the available flow in the rivers at all times. In addition, in countries where irrigation is required, as in Spain, the volume of water is reduced, with the consequent decrease in the energy produced - most modern reservoirs are for multiple uses, although some such as Adeyahamen in the Canary Islands They are only for irrigation.
Finally, hydroelectric plants are usually in places removed from consumption centers , which requires the execution of transport lines. This need, in addition to making the investment more expensive, causes energy losses and an environmental impact that increasingly finds more detractors .
However, in general, the benefits of hydroelectric plants are greater than their disadvantages because it is clean, indigenous and renewable energy. This type of energy will be more beneficial when it is possible to reduce its environmental impact by maintaining its ecological flow and promoting measures that protect fauna and flora.