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Water Energy Examples

Wave energy

Water is the source of life on planet Earth, but is also a great source of clean and renewable energy generated by the kinetic power of the moving water.

Today, about 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and the oceanic water represents about 96.5% of this water volume. Let’s see what are water energy examples.

Water Energy Definition

Water energy represents a great source of clean and renewable power on planet Earth that is produced by converting the kinetic energy of the moving water into clean electricity.

To generate electricity from the kinetic energy of the moving water we are using large dams and hydroelectric power plants (the clean electricity produced this way is called hydroelectricity or hydropower), the waves (wave energy) and the tides (tidal power).

Energy produced by the moving water is considered a renewable and clean energy source because water is a renewable resource that can be used to generate electricity without releasing harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

Types of Water Energy

I already mentioned above that the kinetic power of the falling or moving water is used today in several ways to produce clean electricity.

1. Hydroelectricity or Hydropower

Hydropower is produced today using the kinetic energy of the falling water that spins a turbine, which generates electricity with the help of generators.

1. Hydroelectric power plants that use a large dam

Water is collected and kept in large dams and is released when necessary to generate electricity.

The kinetic energy of the falling water (the dam is located above the hydroelectric power plant) is used to spin large underwater turbines that will produce clean electricity with the help of large and powerful generators.

Gravity is the force that makes the water to move while falling, and this is the kinetic power (water is denser and heavier than the air) that makes the strong turbines of the hydroelectric power plant to spin and generate electricity.

2. Run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plants

This type of hydroelectric power plants relies on the kinetic power of the fast moving rivers or streams, which is used to produce clean electricity.

Run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plants don’t use a dam to store the water, so they are very dependent on the volume of water in the river or the stream.

When drought hits these rivers or streams, the hydroelectric power plant will not be able to generate power.

3. Pumped storage power plants

These hydroelectric power plants are using pumps to send water to a reservoir located above the power plant.
When the energy demand grows, the water from the above reservoir is released towards the power plant to produce clean electricity.

The power plant uses energy from other sources to power the pumps.

2. Tidal Power

Tidal energy is another form of renewable energy that is part of hydropower (water energy).

The kinetic power of the tides is used today to spin a powerful underwater turbine that will produce electricity using generators.

The tides on planet Earth are generated by the gravitational forces of the Earth, Sun and Moon combined, and because they are cyclic (we have two high and two low tides into a 24 hour period), we can calculate how much energy can be produced.

The energy generated by this clean energy resource is considered green because electricity is produced without releasing harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

Modern tidal turbines

Modern tidal turbines used today have a hole located at the center of the turbine, which is used by marine life to escape from the spinning turbine.

The underwater turbines used to generate tidal power spin forwards and backwards because they need to generate clean electricity during the entire tidal cycle.

The generators used by these turbines are reversible electrical generators and allow the turbines to produce energy while spinning forwards and backwards as well.

To make tidal power an energy source which counts in the energy mix of the planet, we need to develop this technology to work in coastal areas of the planet where the tides have lower heights (tidal power can be produced today only in coastal areas where the tides exceed 5 meters in height).

Such high tides (over 5 meters in height) are available today only in a few areas of the planet, but the development of the technology will allow us to use that large number of coastal areas where the tides have lower heights.

3. Wave Energy

Wave energy uses today the kinetic power of the waves and the pressure fluctuations below the surface to generate clean electricity.

Waves are produced by the wind that blows over the surface of the ocean (another renewable resource generated by the Sun).

wave power

Waves represent another form of clean and renewable energy,

Wave energy can be produced today only in areas where the winds have enough consistency and power to generate continuous waves along the shoreline.

The capacity to generate wave energy varies in different areas of the planet. but the areas with the most abundant resource of wave power include the western coasts of Scotland, South Africa, northern Canada, Australia, the northwestern coasts of the U.S., and Alaska.

Wave energy is a pretty new source of clean power available for us, and this is an emerging technology that represents a great resource for the future of mankind.


Water is the source of life on our planet, and without a source of fresh water at our disposal, we can’t survive and we can’t produce crops.

Besides people, animals and birds, the agricultural sector and the energy sector are major consumers of water on the planet.

The energy sector (thermal power plants) consumes a large amount of water in the energy production process to generate steam or to cool down waste heat.

Nuclear power plants are also consuming large amounts of water to cool down the nuclear waste produced during the nuclear fission reaction.

Hydropower is also the most developed form of renewable energy on the planet today, because it can be found in the energy mix of almost all the countries.

Water along with the other forms of renewable energy available today represent forms of green energy that will be very popular in the clean future that will follow, and which I hope we will all share.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

1 Comment

  1. astrologer

    Hi Danny Ovy,

    Very nice article, keep up the good work.

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