Hydropower report on large scale hydro and small scale hydro

Hydropower report on large scale hydro and small scale hydro




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The EU created 23.4% of its electricity from renewable energy sources in 2012, with a total electrical output estimated at 763.5 TW. This represents an important increase from 2011, when these energy sources brought “only” 20.4 % of total electricity.

Austria and Sweden pave the way in what is possible for renewable energy with 68.3 and 67.1 % of their total electricity coming from renewables in 2012, respectively. The remaining 25 EU countries are following suit. Nine countries generated 20-50% of their electricity through renewables, including: Latvia (43.4%), Denmark (41.7%), Portugal (35.6%), Finland (32.5%), Spain (31.7%), Slovenia (29.5%), Italy (26.6%), Romania (25.2%) and Germany (24%).

In terms of the chosen technology, the statistics, taken from Euro Observer, have shown that hydropower represents 43.9 % of the total renewable energy produced in 2012. Wind follows with 26.6%, biomass (19.5%), and solar energy (9.2%). Geothermal and ocean energies make up the remaining 0.8 %. The renewable energy industry in the EU has employed more than 1.22 million people in 2012.

These figures show that the EU 27 are well on their way to achieving the 2020 goal of “20 % of renewable energy in the total energy consumption.”

We wish them luck.


Source: http://www.energies-renouvelables.org/observ-er/stat_baro/barobilan/barobilan13-gb.pdf

EU hydropower only at half of its growth potential

EU hydropower only at half of its growth potential


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Renewable Energy Options for Your Homestead

Drop-in-stream pumps require minimal upfront installation. This river pump from Rife Hydraulic Engine Mfg. can lift water up to 82 feet vertically without using electricity or fuel. Photo courtesy Rife Hydraulic Engine Mfg. Co. By Richard Freudenberger 

The costs of growing populations. One of the toughest environmental arguments to make. Do you side with 23 million people who need electricity, or do you side with 20,000 indigenous people and a sliver of the Amazon rainforest and all its riches? Should they turn to nuclear power, and if so, how to pay for, monitor, and maintain it?

The proposed Belo Monte Dam in northern Brazil would be the third largest hydro-electric dam in the world in terms of electrical output. The dam would be 3.75 miles long and generate over 11,000 megawatts, which could power up to 23 million homes. Government officials say that the dam is an essential step in supplying energy to the nation’s growing population. However, the project is rife with environmental conflicts. The project requires the clearing of 588 acres of Amazon jungle, the displacement of over 20,000 indigenous people, flooding a 193 square mile area, and drying up a 62 mile stretch of the Xingu River.

More here.

See also Al Jazeera’s comprehensive article on the dam, here

I think the days of building the big dams, like you see on the Columbia are over. They didn’t examine the biology and the environment as much as we’re doing today. So I think that this is the wave of the future.
—  Scott Spahr, generation engineering manager for Snohomish Public Utility District, speaking about the new small hydropower facility at Young’s Creek. Northwest Hydropower Gets Small
How water is powering Bhutans over 60% GDP from hydro power

How water is powering Bhutans over 60% GDP from hydro power


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Blue Freedom | The World’s Smallest Hydropower Plant

Utilizing the power of flowing water, Blue Freedom produces portable energy to charge all your electric devices. …


“It’s a fact of life in Nepal that having access to power lines does not mean that you always have power. What’s more, about 24 percent of the population still has no access to electricity at all, whether on-grid or off-grid…Creating new sources of electricity is part of the solution, and distributing it throughout the country will require infrastructure and reform.” Learn More: http://go.usa.gov/3YDed

Anonymous geologist blows whistle on China's decision to build 130 dams in earthquake hazard zones

Threatens millions of lives. Possible government corruption. China has 87,000 dams and reservoirs, many used for hydropower and thousands already on fault zone. Dam breaks from earthquakes exacerbate environmental destruction.

“More than 130 large dams built, under construction, or proposed in western China’s seismic hazard zones could trigger disastrous environmental consequences such as earthquakes and giant waves, finds a new report from the Canadian watchdog group Probe International.

The report shows that 98.6 percent of the dams being constructed in western China are located in high to moderate seismic hazard zones.

The location of large dams near clusters of recorded earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 4.9, and especially when the earthquake focal points are also close to the surface, "is cause for grave concern,” said the report’s author geologist “John Jackson.”

John Jackson is a pseudonym for a geologist with detailed knowledge of western China who wishes to remain anonymous to protect his sources.

In a worst-case scenario, Jackson reports, dams could collapse, creating a giant wave that would inundate everything in its path, including downstream dams, causing great loss of life and property.

Should a dam suffer catastrophic collapse, says Probe International Executive Director Patricia Adams, Chinese citizens could direct their anger to the hydropower industry for threatening their lives with dangerous dams.

To pierce the Chinese government’s secrecy over its dam building, the Probe report overlays a Chinese map of dam locations with U.S. Geological Survey earthquake data and a United Nations’ seismic hazard map.“

More at Environmental News

The Next Generation of Renewable Energy May Be Created Under Water - Environment - GOOD

But renewable energy includes another force of nature: water. Hydropower projects—in other words, dams—account for the majority of the country’s renewable energy generation, but because they’re old and unexciting, they’re squeezed out of accounts of renewable energy’s triumphant climb. Tidal power, though, fits right in with wind and solar: A new Department of Energy report calls it “one of the fastest-growing emerging technologies in the renewable sector,” which means that, like solar, it’s small, but appears to have nearly boundless potential. Together, conventional hydropower, tidal and wave power, and other water-powered resources could provide 15 percent of America’s electricity by 2030, the Department of Energy projects.

Tidal power is just beginning to emerge as a commercially viable source of power. Last week, a federal energy regulation agency granted the first-ever commercial license for a tidal power project, which will have a maximum of 30 turbines working under the surface of New York City’s East River. The agency has also issued 100 preliminary permits to projects in earlier stages.