As we know that Hydropower is one of renewable energy which is also expected to be used massively by countries in the world. with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, because unlike fossil fuel, Hydropower doesn't produce carbon dioxide as a side effect of the energy produced.
When compared with other renewable energy sources, such as solar energy. then the hydropower has its own advantages. as we know that solar energy is quite dependent on the intensity of sunlight as its energy source, although there may be some innovations to minimize this, but still in weather conditions without the sun for several days would have a real effect on the solar energy system. And also you need to consider that solar energy cannot be collected at night.
With the various advantages offered by Hydropower, it's not surprising that hydropower is one of the largest renewable energy sources today.
However, in developing Hydropower there are several challenges as well as meaningful risks that the developers need to pay attention and handle. These challenges and risks can be the risk of damage due to natural factors, the environmental effects of the application of Hydropwer technology and etc.
The risk of flooding is one of the biggest challenges in hydropower development. as you know, to produce hydropower we need a dam to hold water. The thing that becomes a problem if the dam that we build is damaged or collapse, which wouldn't only have an impact on technological damage but also on the surrounding environment and that must have resulted in a big loss
One of the biggest disasters in human history related to dam damage was the collapse of the Banqiao Dam in China in 1975. This disaster left 30 cities with an area of 12,000 km inundated and about 26,000 to 240,000 people died.
There are many factors that can cause a dam to collapse. storms, construction failures, earthquakes and etc. and these factors will always haunt any dam construction. there is no guarantee that dam collapse disaster will not occur, the fact is that dam collapse are recorded a lot.
These are some of the dam collapse events that occurred in the last 5 years.
- The joint dam project between companies from Laos, Thailand and South Korea was destroyed after several days of heavy rains and monsoon winds, as well as allegations of construction failure. This project is planned as a source of hydropower in Laos with a capacity of 410 MW and got investment of 1.2 billion dollars.
Source : itsKimsTimes by KIMLAY Youtube Channel
- 2 months ago the Uttarakhand Dam, India was destroyed by a glacier from the Himalayas. this caused extensive flooding in the area. This dam is also one of the hydropower development projects by the Indian government.
Source : Tripoto Youtube Channel
In fact there are many cases related to dam damage that have occurred. what happened in Laos and India is an example only that the risk of dam damage is still exist. and the impact would be enormous.
Impact on Fish
The construction of a dam for hydropower will actually disturb the biodiversity of the river. especially fish. Dammed river flow makes the fish lose their natural habitat. and As the water stops flowing, riverside habitats begin to disappear. This can even remove animals from accessing water.
Recent research on the impact of hydropower development on fish was carried out in the Mediterranean basin by nature conservation organizations EuroNatur and Riverwatch, together with Wetlands International Europe, GEOTA and WWF Adria. in that study it was found that there are 251 species of freshwater fish that are threatened with extinction and their stock situation in rivers in the Mediterranean basin. which is one of the Hydropower development sites, with 5,269 hydropower plants already operating and 202 under construction. and there are even plans to build 6300 hydroelectric power plants in the future.
That's not very good news. and Engineers need to pay attention and find a way to solve this problem. because it will be difficult to say that Hydropower is a renewable and environmentally friendly energy if it has an impact on the fish in the river.
Susceptible to Droughts
This is one of the big challenges that quite often occur in efforts to develop Hdropower technology. Moreover, natural conditions which are currently experiencing global warming, the risk of drought is very likely to occur.
The risk of drought will always exist, and of course this is beyond the technical capabilities of engineers. however the downsides of this drought will be costly. for the initial development phase, the Hydropower infrastructure requires a big investment. so when the dam runs out of water, then it takes additional costs to overcome it.
Hydropower is a renewable energy that is currently widely used by humans. When compared to other renewable energy sources such as solar energy, hydropower has many advantages, one of which is the availability of its energy source, water which is far more abundant than the sun. However, there are several challenges as well as risks that need to be considered in developing Hydropower, because it can cause several negative impacts that will harm not only the developer, but also the society, and the surrounding environment.
The risk of dam collapse and causing flooding is one of the biggest risks that poses a challenge in hydropower development. It has been recorded that several dams were destroyed due to several factors, so it's a challenge for the developers to minimize and solve it. and also the importance of environmental preservation must be a concern as well as a challenge to truly create environmentally friendly energy.