Hydropower is energy that is created by the force of moving water. Hydroelectricity is currently the most well known usage of hydropower energy, although hydropower itself has been around for centuries. Before there was hydroelectricity, there was hydropower. Early uses of hydropower before electricty are irrigation, water mills, water wheels, textile machines, sawmills, dock cranes and lifts. These methods used water directly to move components of machines or mills. Another way of using hydropower to produce kinetic energy is to use a trompe to produce compressed air. This method allows for machinery to be powered by compressed air, which could be pumped to locations far away from the water source.
Pennsylvania is known for it’s many water based mills for making grains. In my town alone, there are several roads named after old mills that used to be on those roads. Pennsylvania’s early mills used hydropower to create the energy used to power their mill wheels and mill stones. In other parts of the country hydropower was used to extract minerals from the ground. The use of hydropower technologies lead to the use of steam power during the industrial revolution. While hydropower used to be used everywhere, it has evolved into mostly hydroelectricty and marine energy at this point.
Hydroelectricity is currently the most widely used alternative energy and renewable energy source on the planet with over 777 GW installed worldwide. The reason for this may be that there is a very low output of greenhouse gases compared to fossil fuel power plants once the facility has been built. Hydroelectric power plants also produce no direct waste as compared to fossil fuel power plants. In 2006, 777GW was 20% of the whole world’s electricity usage, which accounted for 88% of the production of renewable resources.
Marine energy or marine power is energy created by the ocean’s natural kinetic energy including waves, tides, salinity, and ocean temperature differences. Marine power and marine energy are also known as ocean power and ocean energy. There are 5 types of marine energy that have been indentified currently. The 5 types of marine energy are are Marine Current Power, Osmotic Power, Ocean Thermal Energy, Tidal Energy, and Wave Energy. We will look into these into more detail and provide more detailed descriptions for each very soon.