Hydropower Technology


Hydropower, or hydroelectric power, is the most common and least expensive source of renewable electricity in the world today. According to the Energy Information Administration, most of the world’s electricity was produced from hydropower resources in 2014, and about 48% of all renewable electricity generated globally came from hydropower resources.

Hydropower technologies have a long history of use because of their many benefits, including high availability and lack of emissions. Additionally, hydropower costs less than most energy sources. Countries like America, China, and India get majority of their electricity from hydropower and have lower energy bills.

Hydropower technologies use flowing water to create energy that can be captured and turned into electricity. It generates power by using a dam or diversion structure to alter the natural flow of river or other body of water. Both large and small scale power producers can use hydropower technologies to produce clean electricity.


Malaysia is well developed, 100% of the population have access to electricity. The share of hydro in the electricity generation mix is about 20%, but only 12% of the feasable hydro generation potential is developed.

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has identified five sites that will help the Malaysian utility raise its hydroelectric power capacity from its current 1,900 MW to more than 3,000 MW by 2020, the company told Asian news sources.

According to TNB officials, the company’s plans include a 265 MW plant in Hulu Terengganu, 378 MW plant in Hulu Jelal, 150 MW plant in Tekal, and 12 MW plant in Chenderoh.

HydroWorld.com reported in 2007 that construction of the Hulu Terengganu and Hulu Jelal projects was to have begun in 2008, though it never did. State news agency Bernama also reported that TNB is planning on increasing the outage capacity at the 400 MW Sultan Mahmud Kenyir hydropower project by about 15% via upggrades to its existing turbine units.

The Sultan Mahmud Kenyir plant was commissioned in 1985 with each of the four turbines projected to have a life expectancy of about 32 years, meaning they are almost due for an overhaul regardless, TNB said. The most common type of hydroelectric power plant uses a dam on a river to store water in a reservoir. Water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which in turn activates a generator to produce electricity. But hydroelectric power doesn’t necessarily require a large dam. Some hydroelectric power plants just use a small canal to channel the river water through a turbine.


Water power offers a number of advantages to the communities that they serve. Hydropower is fueled by water, so it’s a clean fuel source, meaning it won’t pollute the air like power plants that burn fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas.

Hydroelectric power is a domestic source of energy, allowing each state to produce their own energy without being reliant on international fuel sources. The energy generated through hydropower relies on the water cycle, which is driven by the sun, making it a renewable power source, more reliable and affordable than fossil fuels that are rapidly being depleted.

Impoundment hydropower creates reservoirs that offer a variety of recreational opportunities, notably fishing, swimming, and boating. Most water power installations are required to provide some public access to the reservoir to allow the public to take advantage of these opportunities. Some hydropower facilities can quickly go from zero power to maximum output. Because hydropower plants can generate power to the grid immediately, they provide essential back-up power during major electricity outages and disruptions.

In addition to a sustainable fuel source, hydropower efforts produce a number of benefits such as flood control, irrigation, and water supply.