Discuss about the Water as a Source of Renewable Energy.
Renewable energy refers to the power, which is mostly generated from renewable resources. This is often considered to be refilled with respect to a human timescale. This includes the sources as water, wind, solar, and thermal energy among others (The Pennsylvania State University, n.d.). Over the years, it has been observed that human activities have significantly affected the atmosphere with gases such as carbon dioxide along with other harmful emissions related to global warming (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2017). It has thus been evident that technology in order to use the forces help humans to do things in an easier way. In the recent year, it has been observed that the demand for electricity has been significantly rising. Thus, the generation of electricity largely depends on the fossil fuels as well as on the use of hydropower resources. Hydroelectric power, which is basically the use of the energy of the water from the rivers, is considered to be the best ways of generating electricity from the renewable resources (World Nuclear Association, 2018).
Additionally, nine of the world’s biggest power plants operate on hydropower, which is built on the river dams. It has further been observed that hydropower contributes for more than 16% of the electricity all over the world. This includes the countries such as Norway, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, and the US. On the other hand, about half of the overall electricity generating capacity is observed in five countries. This includes China generating 351 GWe, followed by the US contributing 102 GWe of the world electricity. The third largest producer of hydropower electricity is Brazil, which produces about 100 GWe. This is followed by Canada and Russia, which generates 81 GWe and 52 GWe of energy respectively (World Nuclear Association, 2018). Therefore, the paper focuses on the study of renewable resources and growing significance of water for generating electricity and supplying it to all parts of the world, which will perfectly align with research issue.
The aim of the study is to discuss the role of water in generating along with supplying electricity all over the world.
The research questions of this particular study are as follows;
- What is the contribution of water as a source of renewable energy in promoting sustainability?
- Is the share of hydro-energy increasing among all other sources of renewable energy?
Based on the study findings of Singh, Chauhan & Kushwaha (2015), energy has become an essential factor, especially in the nations that are developing, as it helps in enhancing its economic growth. In this context, hydropower is observed as renewable energy. Over the years, meeting the demand for electricity has led to the development of various hydropower plants. Thus, water energy is mostly gathered in settling basins or dam-based system. Hence, electricity generated from water can help in mitigating the growing demand for electricity. This is because the use of hydropower can lead to various opportunities, which further leaves the wide potential untapped. The strengths of using water energy are that it is environment-friendly and allow greater flexibility (Singh, Chauhan & Kushwaha, 2015, Chu & Majumdar, 2012).
Based on the study findings of Ul-Hassan (2014), the economy of the world has largely affected the decisions, which are made by the government as well as the public. Hence, in this context, it has been observed that the present consumption rates have decreased the ability of the planet in sustaining life. The increasing demand thus indicates hike in the prices in all the sectors of global economy. Thus, selecting modes relate to producing electricity, which must be aligned with its demand (Ul-Hassan, 2014). Contextually, Degefu, He & Zhao (2015) highlighted Ethiopia as one of Africa’s rapidly growing economies. This has further led the country to face a significant challenge in meeting the increasing demand for energy. The demand mostly arises from agricultural, service, and industrial sectors among others. Thus, for meeting this particular issue, the respective country has decided to develop hydropower plants on river basins. The country for addressing the growing demand for energy in the country included its vision within the strategy of Growth and Transformation Plan and Climate Resilient Green Economy. This identifies the generation of hydroelectricity, which can also help in reducing greenhouse gases (Degefu, He & Zhao, 2015).
USBR (2005), in this context, stated that hydropower contributes for 96% of the use renewable resources in the US. It is generated from flowing water, which is often used for tuning the generators or turbines and thereby helps in producing electricity. Increasing population along with advanced technologies thus need large volume of electricity for creating, developing as well as expanding. Therefore, for the purpose of generating electricity, water is required to be in motion, which is kinetic in nature. The production of electricity can then be distributed at homes, factories, offices, and schools etc. Thus, this help in meeting the growing demand of electricity. There are only two types of turbines, which includes impulse and reaction (USBR, 2005). Based on the study findings of Kaunda, Kimambo & Nielsen (2012), water energy can also help in attaining sustainability, as it is considered as an essential resource of energy all over the world. Hence, well-planned projects related to hydropower can significantly lead towards supplying sustainable energy. Additionally, up-to-date knowledge is considered to be necessary with respect to the investors, planners, and the stakeholders. The use of water in generating electricity is that it can be produced in three ways. This can significantly help in meeting its increasing demand all over the world. The first category is through ’run-of-River type’ (RoR) in which electricity is generated from the flowing rivers without any impoundment. In addition, for variable river flow, RoR hydropower system possesses the power generation capability that further assists in replicating the flow of the river. The second approach is storage hydropower, which involves reservoir in the dam for storing water and for generating electricity as and when required. The reservoir can also help in regulating the overall flow of water. Thus, the hydropower plants have the capability to be more reliable as compared to the RoR hydropower system plants. On the other hand, the other category is hydropower, which is perceived as a vital renewable energy. Furthermore, it can be viewed as an international resource potential (Kaunda, Kimambo & Nielsen, 2012).
Critical Literature Review
According to Manso, Stähli, Schleiss & Avellan (2016), the increasing demand for electricity all around the world has significantly led the world economy to face severe issues. In this context, Switzerland is already playing a significant role in mitigating the issues within the European region. The European subsidies along with the distortion in the market price, in addition to its economic recovery, had led to increased attractiveness relating to the increase in the overall number of the reservoir. Furthermore, it is undertaken with the support of an heightening and growing installed capability of the current power plant. This is done by adding new waterway system as well as the powerhouses. Furthermore, it has been evident that hydropower production in Switzerland is more flexible for the future purpose, thereby emphasizing high demand for electricity in the respective market. Thus, referring to this particular issue, the hydropower within Switzerland is observed to occupy the leading position within the competitive electricity market in the respective region. It has further been noted that there are only few locations, which is left for constructing large reservoirs and dams. Thus, by heightening the current dams by about 10%, an additional reservoir can be developed (Manso, Stähli, Schleiss & Avellan, 2016). Rosen (2009), in this context, stated that as energy sustainability has become a major concern and necessity, water energy plays a vital role in creating electricity naturally.
Based on the study findings of Ilupeju & Inambao (2017), Africa has been observed to have a wide availability of renewable energy resources. In this context, the quantity of every renewable resource helps in adequately generating the required power for the purpose of conducting activities on a daily basis. Additionally, these resources can further assist in serving power supply to the national grids. Furthermore, over the years, the demand for hydropower has gained rapidly, which has further led to its recognition in the domain of generating electrical power all across the globe. Hence, this has increased its share at the global market as compared to the other renewable resources. Hydropower thus accounts for 20% of the overall global production of electricity. This indicates that the demand for electrical energy will significantly rise at the global level. It was estimated that the production of hydropower will hike by 2.4% to 3.6% in between the years 1990 and 2020. In addition, Small Scale Hydropower (SHP) is perceived as the cost-effective as well as environment friendly (Ilupeju & Inambao, 2017). According to the reports presented by the United Nations (2005), hydropower schemes can also be developed on the basis of a range of scales. As per this report, Europe developed about 75% with respect to its technical along with economic potential. Thus, it can be stated that this renewable resource helps in offering a significant potential for the purpose of hiking market share globally relating to renewable energy sources. Since hydropower in all the years has significantly made a contribution to the overall development of the global economy. The generation of hydropower resources, therefore, needs to be more sustainable from the perspective of social, environmental, and economic aspects. Subsequently, it is necessary for the countries all over the world to focus on constructing large dams for the purpose of generating electricity, thereby supplying water for residential, industrial production, and irrigation (United Nations, 2005).
Water Resources for Promoting Sustainability
Based on the report presented by the European Union (2018), it can be stated that hydropower along with wood accounted for 91.5% in the year 1990. Over the years, this has increased significantly, even though it is slightly slower in comparison with the other renewable resources. Contextually, it is observed that hydropower or the water energy is considered to be the largest source for the generation of electricity within EU-28 in the year 2016, which accounted for 36.9% of the total production. Thus, the amount of electricity generated in this particular way was evidently similar, which had been recorded earlier. This can significantly help in mitigating the issue of growing demand for electricity (European Union, 2018).
In order to obtain relevant information relating to growing significance of water as renewable resources for producing electricity, secondary data has also been used. This has focused on using reports, journals, and other online websites. This approach has been used, as it has helped in gathering the data to understand the issue in details. In addition, the gathered data has been observed to be accurate and even reliable. The benefit of using this approach is that it can assist in gaining up-to-date data, thereby helping to obtain validity for conducting the research. Thus, the collected secondary data has significantly assisted in gaining data from the available sources, which has further helped in understanding the issue of water in the perspective of a renewable resource (Johnston, 2014). Furthermore, the secondary sources have significantly assisted in addressing the prepared research questions, which has therefore helped in replicating along with reinterpreting the overall findings of this study (Greenhoot & Dowsett, 2012). Additionally, using secondary data in this study has also helped in analyzing the data, which were presented in the form of graphs as well as texts (Church, 2001).
Additionally, the study has focused on using qualitative research approach, which has helped in interpreting data, which have been collected. The use of this research approach has therefore helped in providing the flexibility (Matveev, 2002). Based on the study findings of Hyett, Kenny & Dickson-Swift (2014), qualitative research helps in capturing the overall complexity related to the object of the study. Furthermore, Teherani, Martimianakis, Stenfors-Hayes, Wadhwa & Varpio (2015) opined that qualitative research emphasizes the events, which transpires on the basis of those outcomes from the viewpoints of the involved parties. Thus, in order to understand the issue in details, this approach has proved to be immensely helpful
The keywords that were used for finding the relevant articles included ‘renewable energy sources’, ‘growing demand for hydro power’, ‘hydropower’, and ‘sustainable energy’ energy among others.
Based on the study findings, it can be stated that renewable resources possesses the potential to contribute to the overall global economy. These resources thus help in improving the overall access with respect to the use of energy (Jaramillo-Nieves & del Río, 2010). Additionally, the rapid development of the economy has led to the frequent utilization of technologies as related to the renewable technologies (Maradin, Cerovi? & Mjeda, 2017). Furthermore, it can be observed that the use of renewable resources have positively increased in many countries such as in the US and Germany. On the other hand, it had posed certain tremendously negative impacts on the nations such as Turkey along with that of Italy (Bozkurt & Destek, 2015). In addition, the growing demand for electricity has largely contributed towards the use of renewable resources, especially water or hydropower in this context. Various countries all over the world have focused on using hydropower as a source for generating electricity. The water, which is utilized for cooling is largely dictating its life cycle for producing electricity (Hadian & Madani, 2013; Aghaei & Alizadeh, 2013).
The electricity that is generated from renewable resources along with water consumption varies on the basis of cooling methods (Tan & Zhi, 2016). Thus, nations all over the world have been focusing on developing their hydropower facilities for meeting the growing demand for electricity. Subsequently, these countries have been focusing significantly on constructing artificial reservoirs for addressing the increasing electricity demand throughout the globe. In addition, dams are also being constructed, which has led to making a significant contribution with respect to human development in several ways. This further include , using as well as diverting water for agricultural, cooling, and power generation (Hogeboom, Knook & Hoekstra, 2018). Since electricity is observed as the fastest growing form of energy, it is expected to be increased in the upcoming two decades, especially in the nations such as China (Mekonnen, Gerbens-Leenes & Hoekstra, 2015).
Based on the information obtained from the section of literature review, it can be stated that renewable resources have largely assisted in enhancing the development of the nation. It has also been observed that the economic development of the nations is due to the fact of supplying energy for meeting the requirements of public (Murphy, n.d.). Thus, in this particular context, it is observed that renewable resources such as water or hydropower are significantly used for the purpose of generating electricity and for meeting its growing demand all over the world. It is also evident that 65% of the electricity production in the US is generated from hydropower. Contextually, water is considered to be a core component for producing hydroelectricity, which often emphasizes using dams along with other approaches for capturing energy with respect to moving water (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2017a). Thus, it can be stated that hydroelectricity is one of the most effective as well as efficient ways for addressing the rising demand of electricity.
The development of power sector will further influence the water resources within the region. On the other hand, hydropower is primarily produced with the support of hydroelectric dams. In this context, the US is perceived as the second largest producer of hydroelectricity all across the globe. In the US, hydropower contributes about 75% of the country’s renewable electricity production. This helps in making the water resource as the most effective renewable energy source of power (Committee on Natural Resources United States House of Representatives, n.d.). Additionally, the use of water for generating electricity is also the fact that it is cheaper as compared to other renewable resources. This also considers the generation of electricity through water flexible, as the hydropower plants can be adjusted on the basis of altering energy demands. Contextually, China is perceived as the largest producer of hydropower and is expected to be the leader in the generation of hydropower in the upcoming future. At present, it is highly evident that the five major countries include China and Brazil, followed by the US, Canada, and finally Russia, which accounts for around 52% of the globally installed hydropower ability in the year 2010 (Worldwatch Institute, n.d.).
Hydropower is considered to be the biggest source related to the generation of renewable power internationally. In the year 2009-2010, 150 countries all across the globe developed 11,000 hydropower plants, which were engaged in the production of electricity. It was thus observed that, the year 2009 generated 3,329 Twh of energy, accounting for 16.5% of the world’s electricity production. This is further accounted to be 85% related to the overall generation of renewable electricity, which was distributed to over one billion individuals (International Renewable Energy Agency, 2012).
Based on the study findings, it can be concluded that there has been a significant rise in the demand for the electricity all over the globe, which has led to the creation of major challenges. Hence, in this context, various renewable resources have been used for the purpose of generating electricity to meet the growing issue of electricity demand. Thus, it can further be inferred that water has largely been used for producing hydroelectricity at cheaper rates in varied parts of the world. This can, therefore, help in mitigating the increasing demand of the electricity by the consumers.
In order to generate enough hydroelectricity, it is essential for the respective nations to develop higher number of dams along with water reservoir. These can help in generating electricity for overcoming the growing demand with respect to agricultural, household, and industrial needs. This can further help in leading the global economy towards long-term sustainability.
The study only involves the use of secondary data for conducting the study and lacks the inclusion of primary data. Thus, the use of secondary data has only been able to obtain information provided by other individuals. Hence, conducting primary research such as interview or questionnaire survey could have helped in gaining the personal perspectives of other individuals on water being considered as a renewable resource for generating electricity.
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