SCI207: Dependence of Man on the Environment
Instructor: Benjamin Kirgan
Availability of power is becoming a great concern for scientists. Search for renewable sources of power is constantly being carried out by economists and geologists to prevent future crises. Cheap sources include hydroelectric, nuclear and solar power. However cheap they might sound, maintenance costs, installation costs and equipment costs are very high.
Hydroelectric power is the power generated by the movement of water down a gravitational potential gradient i.e. falling water. Usually hydroelectric power is obtained by using dams that are built on rivers or waterfalls which convert the kinetic energy of the falling water into electrical energy using large turbines. Nuclear power is the use of radioactive metals and their subsequent nuclear reactions to convert water into steam, the pressure of which can be used to run large turbines that can generate a large amount of electrical power. Hydroelectric power is generally considered to be a safe and efficient source of electric power, but the reality is quite different. It is neither safe nor that efficient. It has a lot of drawbacks and disadvantages.The first drawback of hydroelectric power is that the production of dams on a river or waterfall is extremely difficult and expensive, takes a lot of time to get constructed and requires a lot of resources. The dams have to be constructed on a large area that takes most of the land (mostly cultivatable and silted) and drowns it in water. Moreover, the dams also take a lot of money to be maintained which is extremely costly and the profit compensates the construction money after a very long time. Usually rivers continue to flow in neighboring countries and the construction of dams may cause a brief stoppage of water that can adversely affect the diplomatic...