A hydroelectric dam

Hydro Power Stations

The huge weight of water trapped behind a dam is a source of potential energy that a hydro power station transforms into electricity.

The Yangtze river dam
The Yangtze river dam

The largest power stations in the world are hydroelectric, such as the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangste River, China

Hydro power stations can turn on very quickly. Some hydro power stations can go from zero to full capacity in less than 60 seconds!

This fast, reliable and flexible source of electricity is particularly useful when there are major changes in the nation’s electricity demand, such as when millions of kettles are switched on during television breaks.

The video animation below outlines the processes of how a hydroelectric dam works.

How It Works: Hydroelectric dam
Duration: 58 seconds

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