Hydroelectric power plants use the potential energy of water stored in a reservoir to operate turbines. The turbines are connected to large generators, and can operate on varying volumes of water to adapt to changing demand for electricity. Hydroelectric power plant capacity is related to the height and capacity of a reservoir and require certain conditions in local geography in addition to a water source. Hydro is a renewable energy source and more cost-effective than many other renewable sources of energy such as photovoltaic. Hydropower currently provides about 25% of the world’s electricity and is very flexible in scale. Commercial installations range from 1 MW up to the largest installation to date of 18,400 Megawatts (China).
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