WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES TO HYDROPOWER?
While hydropower offers a number of advantages over other energy sources, it also faces some unique environmental challenges. Notable disadvantages of hydropower include the following:
- Dam and reservoir can affect natural water temperatures, water chemistry, river flow, and silt loads, which can negatively affect native plants and animals
- Manufacturing of the dam can produce emissions if fossil fuels are used to make the concrete and steel
- High investment costs
- Hydrology dependent (dependent on precipitation)
- In some cases, inundation of land and/or wildlife habitats
- In some cases, loss or modification of fish habitats
- Fish entrainment or passage restriction
- In some cases, there may be changes in reservoir and/or stream water quality
In some cases, the establishment of hydropower projects can result in the displacement of local populations
Updated by Erin Bennett, June 2022
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