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Hydro energy is a renewable energy  source that creates only very small amounts pollution or harmful  greenhouse gases, such as methane or carbon dioxide. Hydropower is one  of the cleanest forms of renewable energy that we use today.  One of the  main benefits to Hydropower is that we do not need to disrupt  ecosystems by mining coal or drilling for oil.   It also does not create  radiation like nuclear energy does.  And unlike the unpredictability of  wind energy, hydro energy is very reliable.  Many Hydro plants have a  natural body of water, such as a river or a man made reservoir, that has  an endless supply of water.  Water will always be flowing as long as  the source is full, whereas the wind comes and goes without warning.  
There  are three main types of hydroelectric power plants which are  impoundment hydroelectric, diversion hydroelectric and pump storage  hydroelectric.  Impoundment hydroelectric are the most common and are  plants that utilize a dam that utilized to create a reservoir of water  at higher elevations.  These dams utilize the gravity flow of water to  create clean energy.  Diversion hydroelectric utilize natural flowing  river currents that use low head turbines to generate electricity.  Pump  storage hydroelectric is a plant that uses what is called a dual-action  water flow system.  In this system when the demand is low, water is  pumped from the lower levels to the upper levels behind the dam which is  stored and used later when the demand for power increases.  
     Costs of maintaining and  operating a hydro plant is very low.  There is a small amount of  employees required to continually operate and maintain the plant. There  are also no real production costs that are associated with hydro energy  because the water does not need to be transformed or purified like  fossil fuels. Hydro plants can also adjust their intake of water to  create more or less power to meet the desired electricity.  If power  consumption is low, less water is needed, and flow is restricted by the  control valve, wicket gates.  If energy consumption is high, or there is  an emergency need for power, such as a blackout, the gates are opened,  flow is increased, and more power is created.  Hydro plants have a  distinct advantage over other renewable sources, such as wind and solar,  by supplying the power grid effortlessly on demand with power.
References
      El-Sharkawi, M. A. (2012). Electric energy: An introduction (3rd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Water Energy. (2006). In N. Schlager & J. Weisblatt (Eds.), Alternative Energy (Vol. 3, pp. 261-303). Detroit: UXL.
Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com.vlib.excelsior.edu/apps/doc/CX3451200033/GVRL?u=ecvl&sid=GVRL&xid=7363a7ac

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