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A small hydroelectric power system can produce enough electricity for a home, but a big one, like the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in northern Washington, can produce “more than 70 percent of the electricity made in Washington State,” according to National Geographic.

Hydroelectric energy also doesn’t produce carbon dioxide, the element responsible for the green house effect, which is thought to be the reason for climate change.Once a hydroelectric complex is constructed, the project produces no direct waste.Hydro is also a flexible source of electricity since plants can be ramped up and down very quickly to adapt to changing energy demands.It often moves very fast and generally has lots of power behind it.It’s strong enough to sweep away whole towns and villages and powerful enough to strike fear in the hearts of meteorologists and forecasters worldwide. And people have been harnessing the energy of moving water for centuries, dating back to Ancient Greece, where waterwheels were installed in rapidly flowing rivers to turn millstones.

The form of energy that can be generated from moving water is called hydro energy.Hydro energy is created in a process that starts when water flows through a dam (the dam can be opened or closed to varying degrees to control water flow and to produce the amount of electricity needed, based on demand).The water behind the dam moves through an intake and subsequently turns blades in a turbine.The turbine spins a generator and produces electricity.The amount of electricity generated depends on how far the water drops and how much water moves through the system.The electricity can be transported over long-distance electric lines to homes, factories, and businesses.