An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies.
While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity. A new database has been developed to support decision making on sustainable modes of electricity production. It is presented today at the international congress Global Challenges: Achieving Sustainability hosted by the University of Copenhagen.
The intensified demand for electricity from renewable sources has kick-started the hydropower development into a new era: Following a period of a flattening trend, an unprecedented number of dams for electricity production is currently under construction or planned worldwide. However, the boom occurs primarily in developing countries and emerging economies in South America, Southeast Asia and Africa, that also hold some of the world’s most important sites for freshwater biodiversity.
“Hydropower is an integrated part of transitioning to renewable energy and currently the largest contributor of renewable electricity. However, it is vital that hydropower dams do not create a new problem for the biodiversity in the world’s freshwater systems, due to fragmentation and the expected changes in the flow and sediment regime. That is why we have compiled available data on future expected hydropower dams – to form a key foundation for evaluating where and how to build the dams and how to operate them sustainably”, says Prof. Dr. Christiane Zarfl (now Universität Tübingen) who, together with her colleagues, performed the study at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin. She is presenting the database today at the congress Global Challenges: Achieving Sustainability.
Hydropower may double in electricity capacity
Renewables account for 20 percent of the global electricity production today, with hydropower contributing 80 percent of the total share. An expected 3700 major dams may more than double the total electricity capacity of hydropower to 1,700 GW within the next two decades.
The Latest on: Hydropower
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The Latest on: Hydropower
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The Biden administration previously announced funding towards hydropower growth, with ambitious goals to achieve renewable energy. NBC’s Maura Barrett visited the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project and ...
- New report seeks to ensure hydropower sustainability amid climate changeon September 22, 2022 at 10:21 am
The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has provided hydropower operators with new data to better prepare for extreme weather events and shifts in seasonal energy demands caused ...
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The No.8 unit of Baihetan hydropower station officially started commercial operation on Thursday, so half of the power generation units at the station are now in commercial operation. After passing a ...
- In the face of drought, hydropower still delivers electricityon September 22, 2022 at 7:02 am
In 2022, a quick internet search for Lake Mead or Lake Powell returns startling images of drying lake beds and parched land.
- Hydropower Is Cheap, Clean, and Already Big. So Why's It In Danger of Drying Up?on September 22, 2022 at 6:55 am
One, it could be hotter, so we have more days in the summer where we need electricity. So the question isn't, ‘do you have hydropower over the course of a year or a decade?’ but ‘do you have it on ...
- Hydropower Is Cheap, Clean, Already Big, and in a Bit of Perilon September 22, 2022 at 5:13 am
Exciting new technologies are leveling up the possibilities on water power—but the climate crisis is working in the other direction.
- Here’s how Canadian hydropower will power 1 million New York City homes from 2026on September 21, 2022 at 3:22 pm
The Champlain Hudson Power Express will deliver 1,250 megawatts of clean electricity from Canadian hydropower to New York City.
- How the Lights Went Off in China’s Hydropower Capitalon September 20, 2022 at 11:44 pm
The southwestern province of Sichuan’s massive hydropower industry powers homes and businesses as far away as Shanghai. But even renewables aren’t immune to the challenges of climate change.
- Blackstone Preps $7 Billion for Canada-to-NYC Hydropower Lineon September 20, 2022 at 11:21 am
Blackstone Inc. is amassing $7 billion in new funding for a long-planned transmission line that will deliver Canadian hydropower to New York City.Most Read from BloombergHome-Flipper Opendoor Hit With ...
- Swiss hydropower prepares for future energy crunchon September 16, 2022 at 12:00 am
The severe drought in Europe has hampered hydroelectric output across the continent. What is the impact on Switzerland, the water tower of Europe?
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