The consequences caused by hydropower plants are bigger than people thought previously. Especially, these include the death toll which hydropower plant investors usually ignore.
For a long time, people believed that hydro power was a kind of clean energy which was friendly to the environment. Especially, hydro power was cheaper than any other kinds of energy, because it was generated by water, which exists in the nature and never gets depleted.
Therefore, people rushed to chop down forests to get places for hydropower plants to meet the increasingly high demand for electricity in human life. However, in reality, things are quite different
Terribly high emissions
The research conducted by the International Hydropower Association and UNESCO pointed out that the decomposition of organic substances in water always led to greenhouse gas emissions. Water reservoirs are the places which collect materials from the entire basin of the rivers. Organic substances are driven into the place from surrounding terrestrial ecosystems. Besides, domestic waste, industrial waste and agricultural pollution are also gathered into the ecosystem, which then causes the greenhouse gas emissions.
The researchers, after conducting some measurement at some hydropower plants’ dams, came to a conclusion that hydropower plants also cause greenhouse gas, including CH4 and CO2.
According to Brazilian National Space Institute, it is estimated that the big hydropower plant dams in the world cause 104 million cubic meters of CH4 every year, which means that hydropower plants cause 4 percent of the total reasons behind the climate change.
Dr Le Anh Tuan from the Can Tho University has pointed out that when developing hydropower plants, people need to chop down forests, which causes the big changes to the ecosystem. Building hydropower plants, by the nature, means making the intervention to the streams and water resources, therefore, this cannot be considered as an “environment friendly behavior.”
How much is the electricity production cost?
In the past, people believed that the production cost of hydro power was the lowest in comparison with other types of energy. However, scientists have pointed out that the production cost of hydro power is not really low, if counting on all kinds of expenses.
According to WCD (the World Commission on Dams), the cost for building dams is always very high, because the actual expenses are always higher by 56 percent than the initial estimates, while it always takes a long time to fulfill the construction. Especially, the dam capacity never gets the designed level. Therefore, WCD has warned that in the context of the increasing climate change, hydro power should not be considered as cheap energy source.
A recent research pointed out that in order to create one MW of electricity; people need to chop down 2.35 hectares of forests and sanctuaries. Meanwhile, Dr Tuan has pointed out that reducing the forest area also means the reduction in revenue from selling CO2 emission credits. It seems that the thing has not been considered by investors.
Dr Dao Trong Tu, a well known scientist, also said that investors always “lie about the investment rate” when talking about the costs of hydropower projects, saying that investors do not count on the long term consequences to be caused by the plants.
Especially, Tu said that investors “ignore” the figures about the death toll when calculating the investment costs. In 1975, Shimantan dam in China was broken, thus causing the death to 170,000 people and the asset toll of 8.7 billion dollars.
Also according to Tu, the WCD’s research which was conducted on more than 1000 dams in 50 countries in the world, including Vietnam, shows that though making contribution to the economic development, hydropower plants cause big consequences. The consequences will influence people in long term, while investors can pocket big money.
Source: NLD/ Tuoitrenews
|< Prev||Next >|
» Hydropower plants accountable for damages to residents
» Lowland people get afraid of hydropower plants
» Severe power shortage to hit next dry season
Latest Category Posts
- Dam work begins on Trung Son hydroelectric project
- Germany funds Vietnamese biodiversity preservation
- Company closed for dumping waste
- Dak Nong authorities want to chase-off wild elephants
- Tough fine follows red-mud spill
- Vietnam pledges to build maritime reserves
- Soc Trang benefits from mangrove forest project
- Nation faces energy, water resources challenges
- Pollution threatens Nha Trang Bay
- Farmers kill rare wolves to protect livestock
Popular Category Posts
- Climate change threatens agricultural development
- Central region faces serious flooding consequences
- MoIT asked to rethink hydro-power plants
- Authorities' ability questioned after toxic waste case
- Natural forests disappear, rubber growing areas arise
- Warmer oceans may up mercury levels in fish: study
- In pictures: Hundreds protest sand dredging, which causes coastal erosion
- High-school students make environment-friendly soap
- HCMC hospital installs water treatment system
- Seminar discusses coastal area climate change adaptation
- Government sniffing out sub-standard hydro projects
- Scientists call for urgent actions to rescue dipterocarp forests
- VN invests in waste treatment
- Delta builds water treatment plants
- People destroy elephants’ house in central region
- Vietnam pays dearly for loosened mining management
- Vietnam repeats “hydropower mistake” with oil refineries?
- PM decided to rescue Cat Tien national park
- Central provinces pay heavy price for rubber development
- Knowledge key to climate battle