Behind the Global Boom of Hydropower Dams - by BBC


#energy #climate change #sustainable development #SDGs

Recently BBC did some reality checks about the facts behind the global boom of hydropower dams, after the collapse of a newly built dam in Laos,

Many thousands of hydropower dams are either planned or under construction - across South East Asia, South America, the Balkans and Africa. There are also critics pointing to the inherent dangers of building too many dams, too fast and without sufficient consideration for the consequences.

Several facts checked by BBC:

- Hydropower is the world's largest source of renewable electricity.

- Brazil leads the way in terms of the number of new dams. China is still expected to produce the most electricity using hydropower.

- The river basins with the most dams are La Plata (covering parts of Argentina, south-east Bolivia, southern Brazil, Paraguay and a large part of Uruguay), the Ganges-Bramaputra (mainly India but also China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan) and the Amazon (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Venezuela).

- World Bank started turning away from the sector, since early 1990s. A report commissioned by the World Bank in 2000 highlighted the social and environmental damage that was being caused by large dams: Between 40 million and 80 million people worldwide have been displaced by dams, while some believe that it's an underestimation if the effects beyond immediate displacement are taken into account - such as access to land for agriculture and fishing.

- China leads the way, filling the gap left by World Bank, not only being the largest producer, but also started taking its business abroad. This is why many experts believe that Chinese companies now control at least half of the hydropower dam-building market worldwide.

Please refer the original BBC report for more details.