Hydroelectric power plants are one of the more widely debated alternative power sources due to the significant, harmful environmental impacts of dams. But it's not possible to talk about the success of the alternative power generation without talking about water.
Hydroelectric dams make use of the kinetic energy in moving water to produce power. Water spins a turbine, the turbine spins a generator and the generator creates electricity. This form of power generation can cause harm by disrupting the natural action of moving bodies of water. Still, it's a proven technology that produces no pollution, is affordable to produce and extremely efficient, and uses an entirely renewable fuel.
Hydroelectric power is arguably one of the most successful attempts to derive significant amounts of energy from a non-fossil-fuel source. In the 1940s, hydropower supplied one-third of the electricity used in the United States. According to the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, it currently accounts for up to 10 percent of the electricity produced in the U.S. and more than half of the electricity produced in areas, including the Northwest, that are host to major hydropower-producing dams.
Finally, the one everybody is talking about …