Hydropower Limitations (David Elschlager, Ameren Hydropower Plant Spokesman)
Water keeps the power flowing at David Elschlager's plant. Hear how hydropower fits into the future of energy.
Transcript: Hydropower Limitations
A big disadvantage to building a hydroelectric plant is its initial cost. It's very capital intensive, which means it takes a lot of money up front to build the facility. Of course, you have to build the dam, sometimes a canal, sometimes a tunnel. And generally a hydropower plant building is pretty large, therefore, there's a lot of civil structures that have to be built, so it takes a lot of money to install. In addition, environmentally, it can take up a lot of land. If we're forming a reservoir behind the dam, it can flood a lot of acres. It can also change the local ecology. For example, if we dam up a fast moving river it becomes a pond, so that changes the type of aquatic life that lives there.