Position Paper

Topics: Hydroelectricity, Renewable energy, Fossil fuel Pages: 5 (795 words) Published: April 26, 2011
SCI101 - Position Paper

Cynthia D. Bailey-Feruson

Topic - Using what you learned about energy, energy sources and the interchangeability of energy, propose a replacement for fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, natural gas), as an alternative energy source to replace the U.S. Dependency on fossil fuels. Defend your position and support ideas with facts. Also, explain how this issue relates to the Saint Leo core values of Responsible Stewardship and Integrity.

Hydroelectric Power

Moving water is a powerful entity responsible for lighting entire cities. Thousands of years

ago the Greeks used water wheels, which picked up buckets of water around a wheel.

The waters weight caused the wheel to turn, converting Kinetic energy into Mechanical

energy for grinding grain and pumping water. In the 1800’s the water wheel was often

used to power machines such as timber cutting saws in European and American factories.

Most importantly, people realized that the force of water falling from a height would turn

a turbine connected to a generator to provide electricity.

Niagra Falls, a natural waterfall, powered the first hydroelectric plant in 1879.

The use of hydropower prevents the burning of 22 billion gallons of oil or 120 tons of coal

each year. Hydroelectric power is also efficient and inexpensive. Modern turbines can

convert as much as 90 percent of the available energy into electricity. Hydropower has

become the leading source of renewable energy, it provides 97 percent of all electricity

generated by renewable sources worldwide. In the U.S. 81 percent of the electricity

Provided by renewable sources comes from hydropower.

Hydropower is convenient because it can respond quickly to fluctuations in demand. A

dam’s gates can be opened or closed on demand., depending on daily use or gradual

economic growth. The production of hydroelectricity is often slowed at night when people

use less energy. When a facility is functioning, no water is wasted or released in altered

states. Land owned by hydroelectric companies is often public for hiking, hunting or

skiing. Hydropower reservoirs contribute to local communities, A study of one medium

sized hydro project in Wisconsin showed that the recreational value to residents and

visitors exceeds $6.5 million and also there was increased economic stimulation provided

by employment, Over the past 100 years the U.S. has led the world in dam building. Dams

that do no produce electricity are used for irrigation or flood control. The existing sites

could contribute to our countries power supply in a cost effective manner if hydropower

facilities were constructed.

There are several favorable features of hydropower. Anywhere rain falls there will be

rivers. If a particular section of river has the right terrain to form a reservoir, it may be

suitable for dam construction. No fossil fuels are required to produce electricity and the

earths hydrologic cycle naturally replenishes the fuel supply, Therefore no pollution is

released into the atmosphere and no waste is produced. Since water is a naturally recurring

product there is no worry of unstable prices, transportation issues, production strikes, or

national security issues. The environmental changes caused by hydroelectricity projects

may not be obvious to the average person. Most people will more readily notice a smoggy

haze that develops from a coal production area than the smaller population of growth of a

particular bird species where a hydroelectric facility exists. Hydropower is a vast and

complex source of renewable energy. It’s all around us everyday. It’s natural and we don’t

have to create it from a synthetic. There are many companies being developed to use

hydropower. The environment isn’t threatened by it’s use and it’s safe to the people in the

world. We don’t have to depend on foreign production for growth. And we can...

Bibliography: MacKay, David J.C. Sustainable Energy
Bashir, Oosman Comprehensive Book on Modern renewable energy
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