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Facts About Hydropower

Q: What is hydropower?
A: Hydropower is short for hydroelectric power. It uses water to power machinery or
produce electricity. (Source: Rivershed Society of British Coumbia)

Q: How does hydropower work?


A: Hydropower systems use the energy of flowing water to produce electricity. When
water from a high elevation drops, the force of the free falling water through the penstock
rotates the wheel or turbine causing a shaft to spin. Mechanical energy produced by
the spinning shaft is converted by a generator to electrical energy. The height of the
elevation determines the amount of energy that will be produced. (Source: Rivershed
Society of British Coumbia)

Q: What are the two types of hydropower?


Water of the Labay River continues to flow over the weir of the Labay Hydro-
A: 1. Hydropower that stores water power Plant.

These are large-scale types of hydropower that uses storage dams. Since hydropower Tailrace - a channel to which the diverted water is returned to its river of origin.
plants require high elevation between the stored water above and the turbines below,
Weir - a low dam used to divert a portion of the river to the hydropower system.
water is stored at the dam. Because dams create reservoirs, the river is held back,
Whether the hydropower plant is operational or not, water continues to flow over
obstructing the flow of water downstream.
the weir and back to the river. (Source: Rivershed Society of British Coumbia)
2. Run-of-river hydropower
Q: What are the advantages of run-of-river (ROR) hydropower plants?
Run-of-river hydropower systems are dependent on the natural flow and availability of
water of the river. In place of dams, weirs are constructed across the river only to direct a
portion of the water to the pipes that lead to the headpond. From the headpond, water
drops through the penstock at a steep angle that follows the slope of the mountain.
Water will spin the turbine, then goes back to the river through the tailrace.
Unlike the large-
scale types of
h yd r o p o we r,
r u n - o f- r i ve r
hydropower
has little or no
adverse effects to
the environment
since it does
not require
impounding
dams. (Source:
Rivershed
Society of British Garbage and waterborne debris that enter the Talomo hydropower system are
properly disposed of.
Coumbia)

A: As compared to conventional power plants and other renewable energy resources,


run-of-river hydro plants have the following advantages:
ROR hydro is a mature and proven technology;
Q: How does run-of-river (ROR) work? ROR as decentralized power generation facility benefits rural electrification;
A: Run-of-river hydropower diverts some of a rivers flow to power electricity-producing ROR can reduce investment for transmission lines and the power losses associated
turbines, returning the water back to the river. A run-of-river hydropower system with long transmission lines;
includes the following structures:
ROR does not create social and environmental problems often associated with
Headpond - a structure that collects sufficient water to ensure that the intake to large-scale hydropower development such as biodiversity impacts, submergence
the penstock is under water. of valleys and relocation of people;
Penstock - a pressurized pipeline that delivers water from the headpond to the ROR reduces CO2 emissions associated with fossil fuels;
turbines.
ROR can be incorporated in other water use projects such as irrigation, water
Powerhouse - a building that contains the turbines and generators. supply, flood control, recreation and tourism;
ROR improves watershed management. (Source: Philippine Department of
Energy)

INTAKE Q: How about emission of so-called greenhouse gases (GHG) from


PEN
STO
CK WEIR
hydropower?

ND NCE
PIPES A: Greenhouse gases exist where there are storage dams. The emission of greenhouse
DPO VEYA
HEA
AL O
RCON
gases (GHG) from reservoirs due to rotting vegetation and carbon inflows from the
CAN
SPILL
catchment is a recently identified ecosystem impact of storage dams. It also implies that
WAY
E all reservoirs not only hydropower reservoirs emit GHGs. (Source: World Commission
RAC FLOW
TAIL ION
COM
PENSAT on Dams)
N
NSM
ISSIO
TRA LINES POWERHOUSE The run-of-river Tamugan hydropower project does not consume water nor emit
Including turbines, generators
& controls GHG.

Typical run-of-river scheme