Originally posted by twhitehead
I don't know what the efficiency is. What I do know is that your first post points out its energy density. The main reason why we want high energy density is for use in portable batteries. This could include cameras, laptops, phones and even cars. High energy densities are not really that important for large scale power storage. What is important there is ...[text shortened]... Hydro-electric remains one of the most environment friendly power generation methods there is.
“....Surely if we find better power generation methods, the first to go should be coal plant and other fossil fuel based power generation? ...”
yes, of course.
“...Then maybe nuclear power next. Hydro-electric remains one of the most environment friendly power generation methods there is. ...”
You may have misunderstood me just slightly; I agree with everything you say here but although Hydro-electric remains one of the most environment friendly power generation methods it comes in two forms; the one most often used involves the building of dams and the other sort doesn’t store potential energy in dams but simply takes the kinetic energy of the river as it comes and is called “run-off-the-river” hydroelectric (you can Google this). Out of the two, the run-off-the-river type is generally by far the most environmentally friendly mostly because it doesn’t involve building dams that can result in vast areas of forest or valuable property being flooded behind the dam. It also has other advantages such as the much lower capital costs; building dams is very expensive (not to mention time-consuming)!
But; unfortunately, its really big disadvantage is that it doesn’t store potential energy. Now if only we can find an economic alternative way to store that energy that is as good but cheaper than using dams, that could be a huge potential improvement to hydroelectric in the future.