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Renewable Energy - Water

Tidal Power

Tide-power has been successfully harnessed in Brittany since 1967. Small prototypes operate near Bergen in Norway. Electricity is generated from the rise and fall in water levels as the tide ebbs and flows. More than 30 good sites for using tidal energy have been identified around the world.

Hydro-electric Power The most widely used form of renewable energy is hydro-electric power; currently producing 25% of the world's electricity. The amount of water in a dammed lake at the top of a mountain has the potential to be converted into kinetic (moving) energy if the dam is breached.


Hydro-Electric Power (HEP) works as a result of the potential energy water possesses before it is released - transformed to kinetic energy, and at the base of the mountain some converts to heat and sound energy. The remaining kinetic energy drives the turbines of generators converting this energy into electricity. Electric energy depends on the movement of electrons inside conductors and is the principal way in which we transfer energy from place to place.

There could be a six-fold increase in HEP by the year 2020. In 1989 the total amount of hydroelectric power generated was equivalent to 526 million tonnes of oil! In Canada and Norway it is the main source of electricity, as in developing countries such as brazil, Ghana and Zambia.

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2002 Edition