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

Rwanda sells off 22 Struggling Dams In Historic Deal

Four local companies have acquired 22 struggling power plants in a massive public auction. Under the deal, the micro-dams will be managed by new owners for the next 25 years, KT Press has learnt.

The new buyers include four individual local companies and ten other companies in joint ventures between local and international firms.

Ngali Energy Ltd. acquired Base I and II, Ngororero, Rwondo and Ntaruka III while Rwanda Mountain Tea purchased Gihira and Rugezi Power plants. Rural Energy Promotion Ltd acquired Mutobo plant and Prime Energy Ltd purchased Rukarara 6.

Under the deal, the companies are obliged to commit to rehabilitation and upgrading the dams to ensure sustainable power production.

The government committed purchasing the power generated. The partners have also signed a 50% revenue sharing agreement, after calculating the overheads.

Hydropower report on large scale hydro and small scale hydro

Hydropower report on large scale hydro and small scale hydro




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Hydro dam boom threatens a third of the world's freshwater fish
Plans to build huge dams in the Amazon, Mekong and Congo could devastate freshwater biodiversity in these tropical river basins, say ecologists
By John Vidal

As populations grow and the demand for energy grows with it, we need solutions that are preferably clean.

But is clean energy really clean when it requires the destruction of habitat as well as disruption of migration patterns?

This is a problem we need to seriously think about how we will overcome with minimal impact to the environment.

READ this article on the speculated issues environmentalists are having with the creation of new hydrological dams in remotes areas.

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 

A former pump house in Lake St Clair, Tasmania, turned into a guest house.

The three-storey concrete building at the end of a jetty was a turbine house used when Tasmania embarked on a hydro-electric power experiment in the 1940s, but was later abandoned and has been sat unused for over 20 years. The building, renovated by Cumulus Studio now incorporates 12 guest suites.

From here

Apple Plans to Offset the Energy Used to Make Every iPhone With Renewables:

In an announcement [Wednesday], Apple explains that it’s working with partners in China to roll out solar, wind and hydropower systems that will generate an incredible 2 gigawatts of power by 2020. As part of that, Apple and Foxconn have committed to building out 400 megawatts of solar infrastructure that will offset the energy that’s used to manufacture the iPhone in Zhengzhou. That’s a bold but respectable plan.

Apple also notes that its current solar projects in the Sichuan Province already produce more energy than its offices and stores in China use. But frankly that’s small fry compared to the energy demand of its production plants.

— rw

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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