Answer & Enrich your learning:
Along with a constant and uniform flow of water, the following are the necessary conditions needed:
- The amount, character and distribution of precipitation in the form of rain, snow etc. determines power potentialities of any region.
- The volume of water in the river determines the amount of energy.
- The amount and character must be evenly distributed throughout the year.
Uniform Supply of Water, either from streams, rivers or Lakes:
- A constant and uniform flow of water is necessary to enable a hydro-electric plant to work at full capacity.
- There are, in fact, very small numbers of rivers which have sufficient flow of water throughout the year.
- The presence of lakes, which act as natural regulators, is of great help in maintaining regular and constant flow of water.
- The water of a river or lake must be clean and free from silt otherwise power plants will be damaged.
- Snowfields and glaciers act as natural reservoirs.
- They maintain flow of water during the summer season.
- Mountainous relief of good ‘head’ or fall of water, are suitable for producing hydro-electricity.
- Many mountain streams though with small volume of water but tremendous drop have been harnessed for hydro-electricity.
- Rapids and falls in mountain regions usually offer very good sites for hydel-power generation.
Absence of or Inadequate Coal or Oil Resources:
- The absence of coal or oil encourages the development of hydel power to a large extent.
- For instance, Switzerland and Japan have near-absence of supplies of coal or oil and thus hydel-power stations are constructed in order to meet growing demand of power.
- The hydel-power sites must be near to the centres of consumption because there is a limit to the transmission of electric power.
Cheap Raw Materials:
- Availability of cheap raw material and cheap labour for the construction of hydel-power stations and lying down of power lines are necessary.
- Cost of iron, labour and cement have large influence on the construction cost of hydel power plants and dams.
- The harnessing of water-power is an expensive task.
- The initial capital requirement in building dams, reservoirs, power plants and laying down the transmission lines arc a costly affair.