In traditional Hydropower, the force of water flowing downhill is used to power the station's turbines. As of 2006, hydroelectric power supplied about 715,000 megawatts or 19% of world electricity.
Hydropower produces essentially no carbon dioxide or other harmful emissions, in contrast to burning fossil fuels, and is not a significant contributor to global warming through CO2.
Hydroelectric power can be far less expensive than electricity generated from fossil fuels or nuclear energy.
New run-of-river technologies such as those planned for deployment by World Energy Holdings and Research PLC in Guatemala circumvent the concerns associated with the effects of reservoirs.
Many run-of-the-river power plants will have a dam across the full width of the river to utilize the entire river's force for electricity generation. Such installations will have a small reservoir behind the dam but since flooding is minimal, they can be considered "run-of-river."
Investments in run of river hydropower plants can produce solid returns for investors. New technologies and processes present strong upside potential for speculative investing in run of the river hydro power and can also be more risky according to Clean-Tech Investor
The following are the main requirements for a run of the river project according to the website:
• Intake weir – This system is built to draw water from the river creating a small ‘headpond’ of water.
• Penstocks – Pipes that deliver the water from the headpond to the turbines in the power station downstream. Penstocks can represent 50% of a project’s cost.
• Powerhouse for the turbines and generators – The turbines and generators are the 'heart' of a project. Each turbine and generator is uniquely designed for a site. Design is determined by the head, or the difference in the elevation of water at the penstock and the elevation of the turbine inlet located in the powerhouse, flow and volume of water at each site.
• Tailrace – A channel through which the diverted water is returned to its natural flow in the river.
• Access roads – Roads may have to be constructed to get to and from the project site.
• Transmission lines – Transmission lines from the powerhouse to the local transmission grid.
Investing in Hydropower
Investments in hydropower can come in the form of direct investments in hydropower generation plants or by investing in companies with new technologies for hydropower generation.
World Energy Holdings & Research PlC (ISIN GB00B50QMR32, WKN A1C9BX, 0WE ) is a public limited company incorporated in England focusing on the development of power plants, specifically in Central and Latin America. World Energy Holdings & Research Plc is admitted for trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange Entry Standard (Open Market) under symbol '0WE' ('Zero' 'W' 'E'). The firm has several stakes in run-of-river power plant projects
Why Central America and Guatemala is at the New Forefront for Alternative Energy Investors
Right now, Guatemala presents an unprecedented opportunity for alternative energy investors. The Central American country of 13.7 million is in the midst of a bustling wave of development – one that has outpaced the ability of the government and regional utility providers to supply reliable power. Guatemala’s fertile land and rich natural resources make it an attractive location for foreign investment and action undertaken by the national government is driving outside dollars into the country. Of all the opportunities the nation holds, arguably none is as appealing as hydroelectric power. Filled with high-volume rivers and large adjacent tracts of sparsely-inhabited land, Guatemala offers up several sites where run of the river hydroelectric installations can be constructed. With the right team at the helm, these run of the river hydroelectric projects can become the centerpiece of a profitable reinvention of the country’s electrical infrastructure.
Guatemala presents tremendous advantages for energy investors. While the country is still growing into its potential, the overall economy is accelerating rapidly. Substantially increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) over the past decade has contributed dramatically to this economic growth. And because Guatemala is still considered a developing country, there is a vast array of opportunities yet to be explored. Its fertile land and rich natural resources make it an attractive locale, particularly for energy investments. Moreover, the strategic location of Guatemala enables energy companies here to seamlessly export power to Mexico, the United States, and Central America. As of this writing, FDI accounts for almost 20% of the overall gross domestic product, and actions planned by the Guatemalan government – coupled with a keen focus on the energy sector – should spur this figure even higher in the coming years.
The Staying Power of Hydroelectricity
Each and every renewable energy source has market drivers that are unique to the technologies required and to the energy-generating projects themselves. Much like solar power and wind turbine projects, hydroelectric plants offer an alternative to fossil fuel-depleting energy technologies. But unlike these newer energy concepts, hydroelectric power has a proven track record for longevity and stability, giving investors in this market a comfortable long-term investment opportunity. Hydroelectricity has an estimated useful life of up to 100 years.
The Strain of Conventional Energy
Worldwide, far too much reliance is placed on conventional methods of generating power. Nations from every continent turn to “reliable” energy sources with little regard to their limited long-term viability or their often deleterious effect on natural resources. To its credit, Central America is already ahead of the curve, with 66.4% of its power generation stemming from dams and water power projects. In Guatemala and elsewhere, spiralling energy costs and steady advances in alternative technologies have joined forces to inspire more interest in renewable energy – but with conventional production and delivery methods well entrenched, forward progress has been slow. According to the last major survey of the global energy landscape, almost two-thirds of the world’s total electricity is generated through the combustion of natural resources that are known to be finite in supply, and some of the most densely populated regions of the world contribute virtually nothing to sustainable energy practices.
Hydro: The Big Picture
The big picture is clear: renewable energy is imperative. With fossil fuels warming the globe and energy costs rising worldwide, the emergence of true renewable solutions is the only long-term remedy. Of the solutions available, perhaps none is as promising as hydroelectric power. Water is a clean-energy source that man cannot soon exhaust. Its power is cost-effective, enduring, and non-polluting; it can be channelled through turbines reliably and with little maintenance. While oil and coal will steadily diminish over time, hydroelectric power will likely remain a dependable and safe alternative to nuclear-derived and coal-based power. Climate change and water scarcity from droughts may be legitimate threats over the long-term, but they pale in comparison to outright exhaustion, which most scientists agree is on the horizon for oil and coal.
It’s important to note that there are scams in energy research worldwide, its best to look at public companies and firms that report more information.
Firms such as Plutonic Power, World Energy Research, Run of River Power Inc, etc, all firms we have looked at and found merit in what they are doing.
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