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PowerPoint Web Notes: Hydroelectric Power

Resources cited in web notes or used in their preparation:

U.S. Renewable Energy Statistics:

U.S. Primary Energy Consumption by Source and Sector - 2015 (link / cached copy)

2010 Renewable Energy Data Book, U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (link / cached copy)

The 2016 (U.S.) National Hydropower Map, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (link / cached copy)

Conventional Hydroelectric Dams:

Hydroelectric power: How it Works, USGS Water Science School (link / cached copy)

Hydroelectric power - Managing water in the west - 2005 - U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (link / cached copy)

Hydroelectric Power - Electropedia, MPowerUK.com (link / cached copy)

Run of the River (ROR) Hydroelectric Dams:

The "Cascata della Marmore" power plant near Terni in Umbria Italy

Satellite image of the Cascata della Marmore

Most waterfalls evolve over tens of thousands of years. But the "Cascata delle Marmore" (i.e., waterfall at Marmore) was created by Roman engineers in 271 BC when they cut a drainage canal from a soggy plateau over to the edge of an adjacent valley. Then, 2200 years later, modern engineers diverted that flow to drive what became (in 1929) Europe's largest hydroelectric power plant. But today, for visitors, the falls are turned back on for an hour at both noon and 5pm. The Apple Maps satellite photo (above) shows the falls (while on, at the center right), the diversion stream (at center), which at its end drops down into a tunnel ("penstock") passing beneath a hilltop quarry, to drive the power plant (to the quarry's left). My twenty minute time-lapse movie (below) shows the falls being turned back off again after 1 PM.

Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH):

Packing Some Power, The Economist, 3 May 2012 (link / cached copy)

Europe to Experience Pumped Storage Boom, Strategic Energy Technologies Information System (SETIS), European Commission, December 2013 (link / cached copy)

Quantifying the Operational Benefits of Conventional and Advanced Pumped Storage Hydro on Reliability and Efficiency, U.S.  National Renewable Energy Laboratory (link / cached copy)

Bath County Pumped Storage Station, Dominion Power Corp. (link / cached copy)

Dominion Power's film (9 minutes) about that "Mountain of Power" (original link - now broken):

Tidal Barrages, Tidal Lagoons & Ocean Lagoons:

On the differences between tidal barrages, tidal lagoons and ocean lagoons:

Electricity Generation by the Tidal Barrages, Etemadi et al., Energy Procedia 12, pp. 928-935, 2011 (link / cached copy

Review of Tidal Lagoon Technology and Opportunities for Integration within the UK Energy System, Grazia Todeschini, Inventions 2, #2030014, 2017 (link / cached copy)

Tidal Barrage Generation, AlternativeEnergyTutorials.com (link / cached copy)

Your Questions Answered: Tidal Lagoons, The Engineer (link / cached copy)

What is a Tidal Lagoon? Tidal Lagoon Power Company UK (link / cached copy)

Tidal Power, Mersey Tidal Power Company UK (link / cached copy)

Tidal Power, Tidal Power Company UK (link / cached copy)

Ups and downs of the UK's long-running Severn Tidal Barrage debate:

2004: A Severn Barrage or Tidal Lagoon? Friends of the Earth (link / cached copy)

2010: Severn Tidal Power - Feasibility Study Conclusions and Summary Report, UK Government (link / cached copy)

2012: Abandoned Severn Tidal Power Project to be Reconsidered, The Guardian (link / cached copy)

2012: Should a Tidal Barrage be Built Across the Severn Estuary? The Guardian (link / cached copy)

2013: Severn Tidal Power Barrage Plans Slammed by MPs, The Guardian (link / cached copy)

2013: UK Government Rejects Current Severn Barrage Plans, The Guardian (link / cached copy)

2015: UK Unveils Huge Lagoon Power Plants Stretching Miles into the Sea, The Independent (link / cached copy)

2015: World's First Lagoon Power Plants Unveiled in UK, BBC (link / cached copy)

2017: Tidal Lagoons Could Eventually Transform UK Coastline, BBC (link / cached copy)

2017: UK Urged to Push Ahead with World-First Tidal Lagoon Power Plant, The New Scientist (link / cached copy)

2017: Swansea Bay project: Tidal Lagoons Cheaper than 'Almost any other Source of Power', Concludes Energy Expert , The Independent (link / cached copy)

2017: Tidal Power: Still Expensive, Still Unlikely to Contribute Much, CleanTechnica.com (link / cached copy)

2018: Harnessing the Power of our Tides, TidalLagoonPower.com (link / cached copy)

Today's U.S. Hydropower:

The 2016 (U.S.) National Hydropower Map, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (link / cached copy)

Frequently Asked Questions about Removing Dams (including general data about U.S. dams), AmericanRivers.org (link / cached copy)

Limits of Hydropower / Objections to Hydropower:

Drought & Climate Change:

Lake Mead:

Southwest Braces as Lake Mead Water Levels Drop, 12 August 2014, Associated Press (link / cached copy

Latest Forecast Shifts Lake Mead from Big Gain to Small Loss, 16 June 2017, Las Vegas Review Journal (link / cached copy

Low Water May Halt Hoover Dam’s Power, 22 September 2010, Circle of Blue Org (link / cached copy

Evaporation from Lake Mead, Arizona and Nevada, 1997-99, United States Geological Survey (link / cached copy)

Entire Colorado River Basin:

Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, 2012, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation (link / cached copy)

Drought in the Colorado river Basin - Insights Using Open Data, U.S. Department of the Interior (link / cached copy)

Climate and Hydrology of the Colorado River Basin Region, Chapter 3, National Academies Press - Open Book (link / cached copy

Climate-change Impacts on Water Resources and Hydropower Potential in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Kopytkovskiy et al., J. Hydrology: Regional Studies 3, pp. 473-93, 2015 (link / cached copy

Impacts of Climate Change on Electric Power Supply in the Western United States, Bartos & Chester, Nature Climate Change 5, pp. 748-52, 2015 (link

Climate Change Threatens Electric Power Supply in California, Report Warns, 18 May 2015, The Guardian (link / cached copy

The Twenty‐first Century Colorado River Hot Drought and Implications for the Future, Udall & Overpeck, Water Resources Research 53, pp. 2404-14, 2017 (link

Climate Change is Already Reducing Flows in the Colorado River, Scientists Report, 27 February 2017, The Washington Post (link / cached copy)

Carbon Footprint of Concrete:

Concrete: Scientific Principles, Materials Science & Technology Teacher's Workshop, University of Illinois (link / cached copy)

Disruption of Fish Migration:

Fish Passage at Dams, NWcouncil.org (link / cached copy)

Evaluation of Migration Effectiveness at Hydropower Projects: Fish Passage, 2004, Federal Energy Regulatory Comission (link / cached copy

Survival Estimates for the Passage of Spring-Migrating Juvenile Salmonids through Snake and Columbia River Dams and Reservoirs, 2014, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (link / cached copy

Impact on Rainforests and Tropical River Deltas:   

Multiple Rivers:

Balancing Hydropower and Biodiversity in the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong, Winemiller at al., Science 351, pp. 128-9, January 2016 (link)  

Hydro Dam Boom Threatens a Third of the World's Freshwater Fish, The Guardian, 8 January 2016, (link / cached copy

Amazon River:

Dependence of Hydropower Energy Generation on Forests in the Amazon Basin at Local and Regional Scales, Stickler et al., PNAS 110, pp. 9601-6, June 2013 (#1215331110) (link / cached copy)

Study of Controversial Dam Reveals Hidden Dependence on Rainforest, Science Magazine - News, 15 May 2013 (link / cached copy

Hydroelectric Dams May Jeopardize the Amazon’s Future, University of Texas, 14 June 2017 (link / cached copy

How a Dam Building Boom Is Transforming the Brazilian Amazon, Yale 360, September 2017 (link / cached copy)

Fragmentation of Andes-to-Amazon Connectivity by Hydropower Dams, Anderson et al., Science Advances 4, pp. 2018 (link / cached copy

Study Suggests Hydroelectric Dams Causing Greater Impact on Amazon Basin than Thought, Phys Org - News, 1 February 2018 (link / cached copy

Congo River:

Grand Inga Hydroelectric Project: An Overview, International Rivers Org (link / cached copy

Power Potential and Pitfalls on the Congo: Developing Africa’s Cleanest and Largest Hydropower Opportunity, Earthzine.org (IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society), 8 March 2010 (link / cached copy

Construction of World's Largest Dam in DR Congo Could Begin within Months, The Guardian, 28 May 2016 (link / cached copy)

Mekong River:

Dam Controversy: Remaking the Mekong, Nature Magazine - News, 19 October 2011 (link / cached copy)

Trading-off Fish Biodiversity, Food Security, and Hydropower in the Mekong River Basin, Ziv et al., PNAS 109, pp. 5609-14, April 2012 (#1201423109) (link / cached copy

Liberation of Soil Mercury:

Public Health and Economic Consequences of Methyl Mercury Toxicity to the Developing Brain (link / cached copy

The Arctic is Full of Toxic Mercury, and Climate Change is Going to Release it, 5 February 2018, The Washington Post (link / cached copy)

Canada’s Big Dams Produce Clean Energy, and High Levels of Mercury, 10 November 2016, The New York Times (link / cached copy)

Mercury in Hydroelectric Reservoirs - Hydro-Québec and the Mercury Issue, HydroQuebec.com (link / cached copy

Future Impacts of Hydroelectric Power Development on Methylmercury Exposures of Canadian Indigenous Communities, Calder et al., Env. Sci. Technol. 50, pp 13115–13122, 2016 (link)

Discussions of the preceding pay-walled article:

Quantifying the Hidden Environmental Cost of Hydroelectric Dams, 9 November 2016 - ACS News Service (link / cached copy)

Ninety-Percent of Proposed Canadian Hydroelectric Projects May Expose Local Indigenous Communities to Methylmercury, PhysOrg (link / cached copy)

Strategies to Lower Methyl Mercury Concentrations in Hydroelectric Reservoirs and Lakes: A Review, Mailman et al., Science of the Total Environment 368, pp. 224–235, 2006  (link)

U.S. Department of Energy's "Hydropower VISION - A New Chapter for America’s 1st Renewable Electricity Source" (2016):

Executive Summary (through page 32) (link / cached copy)

Chapter 1: Introducing the Hydropower Vision (pages 33 - 68) (link / cached copy)

Chapter 2: State of Hydropower in the United States (pages 69 - 226) (link / cached copy)

Chapter 3: Assessment of National Hydropower Potential (pages 227 - 346) (link / cached copy)

Chapter 4: The Hydropower Vision: A Pathway Forward (pages 347 - 394) (link / cached copy)

Appendices (link / cached copy)

The Nature Consevancy's Vision for Hydropower:

The Power of Rivers - Finding Balance between Energy & Conservation in Hydropower Development, The Nature Conservancy (link / cached copy)


Copyright: John C. Bean (WeCanFigureThisOut.org)