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Hydro Electric Power – Using Water for Electricity around the UK

February 21, 2022 9:50 am

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We are all aware of the need to make changes to our lives to stop the climate crisis from worsening. The future of the planet and life on it depends on this. There are many small changes that we can make that add up to make a big difference – from reusing and recycling, cycling or walking to work rather than driving, and by using products which are sustainable we can all make a difference.

One of the bigger things that need to be changed by Governments all around the world is how power is generated. The natural resources that we use to power our homes and businesses have a huge impact on the climate crisis and it is important that new ways are found quickly to better produce power, rather than relying on the old sources.

There are lots of great ways to produce power in a more environmentally friendly way – one of these is using the power of water. Using the power of water is not a new idea, and things like this hydraulic power pack from hydra products are used for many things, proving that liquid can be used effectively for power.

Producing power on a larger scale from water that can power multiple homes however is quite an engineering challenge – but it can be done. Hydroelectric power plants do exist and have proven a good way to produce electricity. Here are some of the UKs hydroelectric power stations…

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Dinorwig – In the heart of the picturesque mountain of Snowdonia, you will find Dinorwig power station. This project, commissioned in 1984, was truly ahead of its time, and a true feat of engineering and creativity. Beneath the mountains lies the largest man-made cavern in Europe – the hub where the water from the reservoir above is turned into electricity.

Cruachan – The highlands of Scotland are home to another hydroelectric power station – this one is older than Dinorwig and dates back to the 1960s, although what is more amazing is that the idea for the power station was born by engineer Sir Edward McColl in the 1930s. The visitor centre here can provide you with a tour of this magnificent place. Walk through the mountain tunnels that were constructed by blasting away the solid granite – the crew of men that worked on this building project were known as the tunnel tigers.

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Foyers Power Station – Staying in Scotland, there is another hydroelectric power station that works in a different way to Cruachan. Using the water from the nearby Loch Mhor, it can generate electricity to be used at times when the demand is high. Because of the fact that its turbines are reversible, it can also pump water back into the loch at off peak times too. The power station can provide enough annual electricity for around 68,000 homes!

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