- Produces electricity on demand and can thus balance fluctuations of electricity
- Storage capacity, e. g. in pumped storage plants
- Long-established technology
- Run-of-river power stations with stable base load generation
- Wide-ranging capacity from small-scale to largescale hydropower plants
Hydroelectric power plants (e.g. in rivers and dams) use turbines to convert the kinetic energy of water into electrical energy.
The advantage that hydroelectric power offers over wind and solar energy is that the process of electricity generation can be controlled more easily in line with how much electricity is needed at any given time. High-lying water reservoirs can also serve as energy storage. If an electricity surplus exists, water is pumped up to a higher level. When electricity is needed, water is allowed to flow down to a lower level and is conducted through a turbine. These features are very beneficial to the stability of electricity supply in the system as a whole.
The cost of investing in hydroelectric power plants can be redeemed after just a few years. At existing sites, it is often worth considering an upgrade and increasing the capacity of the turbines by means of repowering. As with wind energy, hydroelectric power plants have a relatively high minimum output. They are therefore best suited for large-scale applications. However, suitable solutions are available for smaller requirements also.
German companies have been involved in developing, building and operating hydroelectric power plants for more than 100 years. Globally, at least half of all hydroelectric power plants are based on German technology.