“This is paradise and they want to destroy it. This has had an enormous psychological impact on us,” says Guido Melinao, leader of the Mapuche indigenous community of Valeriano Cayicul, referring to the Neltume hydroelectric power plant project planned by the Spanish-Italian consortium Endesa-Enel.
The Kwanza river in the heart of Angola will be a symbol of Brazilian partnership in African development when power stations along the country's main source of water are fully operational.
"What do we stand to lose because of the dam? We will lose everything!" said Maria Abigail Agredani, a member of the committee for this indigenous community in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, reporting the damage that will be caused by the hydroelectric complex being built nearby.
Uganda is facing the unwelcome possibility of increased costs for building a projected 600-megawatt hydropower plant at the Karuma Falls, on the Victoria Nile, owing to construction delays.
Parvez Ahmad Dar climbs three hours to reach the hilltop, generator-equipped tourist centre in Ajaf village, 35 kilometres from Srinagar, to recharge his mobile phone.
Impoverished Laos is unlikely to cancel a Thai project to build a mega dam across the Mekong River at Xayaburi, despite warnings from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that it could devastate the region’s rich biodiversity.
The Cambodian government has committed to the construction of two dams along the Mekong River in order to meet a huge demand for electricity, but environmental groups warn that severe repercussions loom for this strategy.
The World Bank has voted to approve funding credit for a major transmission line that would link Kenya to the controversial Gilgel Gibe III dam site in southern Ethiopia, pushing back against months of calls by local and international rights and environmental groups to keep out of the project.
The nighttime glitter of Indonesia’s cities and urban centres contrasts sharply with darkness of the hinterland where some 90 million people live without the benefit of electricity.
Colbún, the electricity generating company that co-owns HidroAysén and its multi-dam project in southern Chile, has recommended suspending the environmental impact assessment for power transmission lines that would connect the hydropower complex to the country's central grid, until the right conditions are in place.
Chile has enormous potential for producing non-conventional renewable energies (NCRE) like solar and geothermal, yet they only contribute three percent of the country's energy mix.
Those who made the final decision on the design of Brazil’s Belo Monte hydroelectric dam will face legal action in the future for the damages caused. This is the kind of warning one would expect from environmentalists, but in this case it comes from a surprising quarter: staunch supporters of hydropower.
"People haven’t been coming in for the past month or so because they are afraid again, like during war-time," complained Juan Gaspar, a shopkeeper in the northwestern Guatemalan town of Santa Cruz Barillas, where a fierce battle is raging between locals opposed to a hydropower dam and the security forces.
Energy integration in South America will be a reality "in the medium to long term," driven by hydropower and drawing on Brazil’s experience, predicts Altino Ventura Filho, secretary of planning in this country’s Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Brazil is keen to move ahead quickly with the construction of hydropower plants in neighbouring countries to supply its demand for electricity. But Peru is still stalling on an agreement between the two countries, due to a number of conflicting interests and demands.