Worldwide, hydropower plants produce about 24 percent of the world’s electricity and supply more than 1 billion people with power. The world’s hydropower plants output a combined total of 675,000 megawatts, the energy equivalent of 3.6 billion barrels of oil, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. There are more than 2,000 hydropower plants operating in the United States, making hydropower the country’s largest renewable energy source.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how falling water creates energy and learn about the hydrologic cycle that creates the water flow essential for hydropower. You will also get a glimpse at one unique application of hydropower that may affect your daily life.