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Hydropower Questioned: Better Alternatives Now Exist

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 11, 2019 10:19:26 AM

Note from GB Editor: An interesting criticism of hydropower, in comparison to other renewable sources of power. It's important to keep in context, however, that the worst contributors to Climate Change are places such as Poland, where massive amounts of coal are still being burned. Any renewable source, including hydropower, is a welcome alternative.-MP

Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman at IDTechEx, has recently written the below article questioning hydropower and its alternatives. 

Hydropower takes years to install and it can drown vegetation creating years of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Dams have burst in three countries recently. Fortunately many better options are available or emerging. The strong trend now is to making electricity where you need it, from your solar watch to your village microgrid. Both are evidence of another trend which is the ability to move your zero-emission electricity generation. 

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Hydropower Potential from Existing Locks and Dams Examined

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Mar 8, 2017 4:50:00 PM

Tens of thousands of dams and waterways have the potential to serve as power generators.

Brett Walton of Circle of Blue reports on hydropower explansion in the U.S. through improvements to existing dams.  

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Ithaca Teens Create Hydroelectric Cell Phone Chargers

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 18, 2016 8:24:16 PM

Need to recharge your cell phone while camping in the wilderness? No problem.

They say their audience is looking for small and lightweight power generators so they can easily carry them in backpacks. As reported by LocalSyr.com, two Ithaca High School graduates have developed a portable lightweight power generator.

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No License is Needed for Small, Off-Grid Hydroelectric Systems

Posted by Todd Griset, Guest Contributor

Mar 27, 2016 4:11:06 AM

The ruling, triggered by a Massachusetts couple's desire to convert a water mill to power generation, is a big win for micro-hydro.

As reported by PretiFlaherty:

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Study: Small Hydropower Expected to Grow

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 12, 2016 4:02:22 PM

The report forecasts almost a 50 percent increase in sales of small hydropower worldwide by 2023.

"According to a recent market research report published by Transparency Market Research, the global small hydropower market is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 2.85% during the period between 2015 and 2023. The report, titled “Small Hydropower Market, by installed capacity - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2023”, projects the installed capacity of the global small hydropower market to reach 146.65 GW by 2023. The installed capacity of the overall market stood at 110.77 GW in 2014."

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Research: Superheating Water with Solar to Produce 'Hydricity" Results in 35 Percent Efficiency

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 25, 2015 11:45:13 AM

This new approach to harvesting and storing solar energy looks promising, although it's still at the experimental stage.

Here's how the authors describe their process and findings:

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Nashua, New Hampshire Buys its Own Hydroelectric Generator

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 11, 2015 10:59:17 AM

Although it needs some work, the 3 MW micro-generating facility was too good a deal to pass up.

As reported by Hydroworld:

"The small hydroelectric project could net the city up to nearly $4 million in net revenue, according to a consulting group hired to advise on the acquisition. However, repairs needed at the plant could cost more than $2 million, giving Nashua several options as to its future.

The Board of Aldermen has said the city might operate the facility internally to bolster its own power supply; sell the energy to a distributor; find an operator to run the plant; or sell the plant outright after making improvements.

Nashua officials said they will determine Mine Falls fate within the next year. The city’s purchase is expected to be completed by the end of this year."

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Family-Sized Hydroelectric Generator Expected to Cost About the Same as a New Car

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 3, 2015 5:57:14 PM

Described as a "small hydraulic," the unit is 4 times more efficient than a basic propeller-based dam system, although it's still a slow, steady output.

At 160 Watts optimal output, the Japanese-designed Cappa isn't the holy grail of residential-sized hydroelectric, but it's a step forward. A solar PV system is much cheaper on a watt-for-watt basis, but keep in mind that the Cappa runs 24 hours a day, rain or shine, so depending on your local climate, it could provide a much greater overall power output than a significantly larger sized PV array.

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