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Hydroelectric Power

  • By: Rolf Sternberg
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Hydroelectricity is a derivative of hydropower, which is energy captured from river systems. Hydroelectricity is a scientific-technological system that resulted from the invention of electricity and the creation of the river water-powered turbine onto which a rotor is mounted to generate electricity. Michael Faraday (1791–1867) is credited with inventing electricity in his London laboratory in 1831. Twenty years passed before the Francis turbine was created in 1851. Hydroelectricity became a physical reality when the turbine and the rotor were effectively assembled to generate electricity at Rothbury, United Kingdom, in December 1880, and the first public electricity-supplying unit was installed at Godalming, United Kingdom, in 1881. In the United States, the earliest hydroelectric installation was placed at Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1882, and by 1889, a textile ...

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