Clarifying what is Hydroelectricity Used For
Hydroelectric energy has been used centuries ago. The early settlers don’t yet realize during its time, but what they have been doing then was harnessing the power of moving water. For someone asking what is hydroelectricity used for centuries ago, and then the answer can be found in agricultural production.
Farmers back then more specifically the ancient Greeks harnessed the power of moving water in order to grind the wheat and turn this into flour.
A water wheel was designed during that time and this was placed in the river. It was designed that the wheel will pick up the water using the bucket which was fitted around the wheel.
The kinetic energy of the water movement was the one that turns the wheel and this was then converted to mechanical energy in order to run the mill. This was how hydroelectricity energy was first used and utilized by the earlier generations. But as the centuries turn, people realized that there is more to this energy resource. By 19th century, people have begun to harness moving water as a potential source of electricity. This was the time when the first hydroelectric power plant was built and before the century ends, communities around the Niagara Falls were treated to street lights that were powered by hydroelectric plant. The development and the utilization of hydropower have started to peak during this time.
With the success of the plant that was constructed in Niagara Falls, a number of commercial power companies have begun to construct small plants. And by 1920, the United States saw the increasing impact of hydroelectric power on the country.
Data showed that these plants accounted to around 40 percent of the total electricity produced in the country. But this power source has come a long way, and a check with government records right now will reveal that the impact and of course the use of hydroelectricity is now varied. And you can say the same thing about the dams as well which were initially designed and used to maintain water and sustain energy productions.
In the study that was conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers for the National Inventory of Dams, these dams are no longer just for energy production. In fact in their assessment, around 2 percent of all the operations of the dams in the US are concentrated on hydroelectricity. And the rest are for other things including for recreation, for stock and farm pond, for flood control, for irrigation and for other purposes. Recreation is now the biggest use of these dams far overshadowing its role of generating power.
For someone asking what is hydroelectricity used for now, then the answer lies in alternative energy generation and the production of hydroelectric power by extension has helped the recreation industry. Major industries and communities are now relying on this power source. In fact, there was this study of one medium-size hydropower project in Wisconsin that detailed the recreational value to residents and visitors and the income was pegged at more than $6.5 million a year! But still, on question where is hydroelectric power used then answer goes the popular route- this is used as an alternative electricity source for many countries.