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Old 04-06-2019, 12:20 AM   #5529 (permalink)
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I was thinking today what the total possible hydro power there was if every drop of water re-entering the ocean was harnessed on it's way back. I found an article that figured an amazing more than double the worlds total current energy needs, 25 TW. Of course that is impossible in reality but an Idaho National Engineering Lab study of all potential US sites showed it could provide 40% (.17 TW) of the USA's current electricity needs if developed, up from the 7% it runs now. Most of the time a water reservoir is considered by most around it a positive. Riverfront property is normally valued less than lake front property and you end up with many more miles of shoreline than what was just the river. It also helps control flooding (assuming not flooding caused by a failed dam LOL).

Realistically I think capturing moving water energy in a mass scale would be less obtrusive and provide a better return on an investment than having a windmill on every acre. The same 'do the math' page on wind thinks 1.2 TWs the most energy possible from covering the US in turbines. Even covering 10% with millions and millions of windmills to get the same .17 TW the 130,000 new dams could create seems like a nightmare.

Solar on the other hand would only require .5% of the land of the US to produce 1 TW.

250 nuclear plants the size of Palo Verde would also make 1 TW.

So what makes the most sense to me? All of the above!
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