The main factors which influence siting of a hydro-electric power plant are many. One of the important points to be noted is precipitation. The character, amount and distribution of precipitation in different form like rain, snow decides the potentialities of power of any region. For example you cannot have water powered development in a desert, but it can happen if there is river in the desert. Basically the volume of water in the river decides the amount the energy it can supply. You have to also make sure that the amount and character is distributed evenly throughout the year, only then the hydro-electric plant can work at full capacity.
Since there are very few rivers which can provide sufficient flow of water throughout the year finding a river apt for hydro-electric plant is difficult. This is the main reason why people are looking out for the lakes which act as natural regulators to maintain regular and constant flow of water. The water used for this purpose must be clean and free from silt otherwise there are chances of damage for power plants. You can have natural reservoirs like snowfields and glaciers and they help maintain flow of water during the summer seasons.
Topography of the place is also important. Falls and rapids in the mountain regions are also good hydel-power sites for power generation. The accessibility is also important and the sites should be near to the centres of consumption because of the limit to the transmission of electric power. Finding a suitable for a nuclear power plant is very important. The site should be one which has less impact on the environment and minimum risk to the population. The cost has also to be taken into consideration because the idea of starting a nuclear power plant is to provide electricity economically. The distance from the plant to the centre of consumption should be short.
Safety Related Characteristics
The cooling system should be effective and it should have the efficiency of heat from the plant. The plant should have engineering characteristics like population distribution, meteorology, hydrology etc. and requirements. It should have safety related characteristics describing the effects of natural problems like earthquake, floods, wind direction etc. The socio-economic and cultural aspects like housing, medical services, schools etc. also have to be taken into consideration. Any power generating units need a lot of finance to start with but there are many other things like fossil fuels, water etc. also which are equally important.
Coal based thermal power plants affect the quality of air in the surrounding regions. High amount of carbon dioxide emission from thermal power plants leads to global warming which influence the climate change throughout the world. The effect on the biological environment is serious and the effect on the flora and fauna is really huge. Land acquisition and gas emissions are the main culprits for the effect on environment. It creates major damage to the ecosystem and this is caused by the waste-water discharge. It impact the fisheries in the region badly.