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European Industrial Initiative on wind energy

Hydropower: Technology Information Sheet

16/02/2011

Hydropower electricity is the product of transforming potential energy stored in water in an elevated reservoir into the kinetic energy of the running water, then mechanical energy in a rotating turbine, and finally electrical energy in an alternator or generator. Hydropower is a mature renewable power generation technology that offers two desirable characteristics in modern electricity systems: first, built-in storage that enables electricity to be provided on demand and second, a fast response time that allows reserves to be fed into the grid.

Hydropower also has an important role to play in producing renewable electricity. It is low-cost and readily available: power flow is controlled through turbines to produce electricity on demand.