Principles and stakes

Hydroélectricité

HydroélectricitéThe operating principle of a hydropower plant is to convert the potential energy offalling water into mechanical energy through a turbine, then into electrical energy via agenerator. The installed capacity of the plant depends on water flow turbine and the drop height. 
A small hydroelectric  produces electricity, which can be used to power remote sites (eg households) or be sold to a distribution network. The hydroelectric plantsare classified according to their power, then they should talk about:

  • small hydro: from 2 000 kW to 10 000 kW
  • mini hydro: from 500 kW to 10 000 kW
  • micro hydro: from 20 kW to 500 kW
  • pico hydro: less than 20 kW

A source of clean renewable energy

Small hydropower has a natural and renewable resource: water. It does not producegreenhouse gas emissions, major environmental problem on a global scale. Notusing any fuel, hydroelectricity does not release any oxide effect, and in particular nocarbon dioxide. In summary, it can claim the designation of energy for sustainable development.

Energy balancing ecology and development

Production techniques, regulations and willingness of stakeholders, contribute to limiting the environmental impact of small hydropower. It has, in fact, a controlledimpact on water quality, the life of the river, the sound environment, landscapes …

A tool to develop the territory

Hydropower creates a very diverse number of jobs: construction and maintenance of a small central require the assistance of civil engineering companies, to turbiniers,electricians, suppliers of generators, screens, … and generate jobs for localmonitoring and maintenance.
Through royalties and taxes which they are subjected to, they help to balance the budgets of small towns sometimes without any industry, which are then guaranteed to benefit from resources over the long term (30-40 years). 

 

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