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Hydroelectricity as an Alternative Source of Power to Fossil Fuels

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In this part, we are going to examine hydroelectricity as an alternative source of power to fossil fuels in terms of Turkey’s technology assessments for climate change. Turkey has rugged terrain conditions and more than 25 river basins. (International Hydropower Association, 2014) That makes Turkey one of the largest potential hydroelectricity producer.

According to the World Energy Council report in 2016 Turkey is the 15th country in terms of unutilized hydropower potential. (World Energy Council, 2016, World Energy Resources Hydropower) On one hand there is the fact which states the high hydroelectricity potential, but on the other hand there is also high demand of energy. In OECD member countries, Turkey has the highest rate of growing energy demand in last 15 years. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2016, Turkey’s Energy Profile and Strategy) Since Turkey has no large fossil fuel reserves, it either must import them or go towards to the renewable energy sources for instance hydroelectricity without even considering the impacts on climate change.

To acknowledge how important renewable energy sources such as hydroelectricity, it is worth mentioning that Turkey’s electricity generation still mainly depends on 29,1% coal and 37,9% on natural gas, even though the rate of hydro source is above the world average with 25,6%. (Turkish Statistical Institute, 2015, Electricity generation and shares by energy resources). Turkey has 613 hydroelectric power plants but also planning to increase the percentage of the electricity which comes from hydroelectric power with new plants. (Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, 2017, Electricity)

To present any assessments on hydroelectricity in Turkey, first seeing its effects should be significant. With the fact that hydroelectric power plants reduce consumption of fossil fuels, hence they reduce also the emission of CO2, but they have many impacts on nature and human life. In Turkey’s case we are going to explain two possible effects with examples.

First the negative effect is ecosystem damage. For instance, according to the report on “salmo coruhensis”, which is a migratory fish, because of the hydroelectric power plants in north-east coast of Turkey, their living spaces are reduced with the corrupted basins. Since this fish is a migratory fish and it comes from many parts of the World, its damage on ecosystem can be seen as global. (Ministry of Forestry and Water Management Rize Branch Directorate, 2013, Salmo coruhensis)

Second possible impact is construction failure during or after the construction phase. If the construction fails in terms of big dams, damages can be irreversible for both ecosystem but also there can be life casualties. For instance, in 1975, China experienced a big disaster caused by a dam failure and almost 26,000 people died. (Osnos, 2011, Faust, China, and Nuclear Power)

In our opinion, even though there are many impacts of hydroelectric power plants, the real question is, are they worth building as a substitution to fossil fuels?

The answer is still open to debate because of the negative impacts. From technological point of view, the construction techniques should be guaranteed because of the irreversibility of possible damages. To make a choice about hydropower, technology assessments are important, but they are not the most important issue. Here the real issue is, when governments or private enterprises invest on hydropower they know that they damage to nature by destroying the balance of ecosystem and deforestation by cutting the trees to build new hydroelectric power plants.

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Hydroelectricity as an Alternative Source of Power to Fossil Fuels. (2018, December 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/hydroelectricity-as-an-alternative-source-of-power-to-fossil-fuels/
“Hydroelectricity as an Alternative Source of Power to Fossil Fuels.” GradesFixer, 17 Dec. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/hydroelectricity-as-an-alternative-source-of-power-to-fossil-fuels/
Hydroelectricity as an Alternative Source of Power to Fossil Fuels. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/hydroelectricity-as-an-alternative-source-of-power-to-fossil-fuels/> [Accessed 29 Sept. 2022].
Hydroelectricity as an Alternative Source of Power to Fossil Fuels [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 17 [cited 2022 Sept 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/hydroelectricity-as-an-alternative-source-of-power-to-fossil-fuels/
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