Hydro (Water) Power

Taishir Hydroelectric (water) Power Plant, Mongolia
Oschtan [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D

What about hydroelectric power? That’s power from a turbine that turns with the flow of water and transforms the movement of the turbine to electrical energy. It is like a windmill under the water!

Water turbine, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Mongolia has some places that have hydroelectric power, which is great because it is easy to change the amount of energy that you are producing with this type of power. It could be used to balance wind or solar when they aren’t available.

The big problem? It is very expensive to build, you have to use a lot of energy to build it, it takes a long time to build, and to get a lot of hydroelectric power you must build a dam that floods a very large area. You lose that area, its wildlife, and its beauty. People who live in the area have to move.

To show how hard it is to decide to build a dam and flood a part of your country, look at the picture below of the area that would be flooded to build a proposed hydroelectric power plant in Mongolia near the Eg, Selenge, and Bugsiin Rivers. A number of herders keep their flocks there, and the river is the habitat of an endangered salmon, the taimen. Changing the flow of the river might also cause problems for a lake far away in Russia that gets water from the Selenge River.