Hydropower

Are Humans Responsible for the Himalayan Tsunami?

On the outskirts of Rudraprayag, a town in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand whose many temples draw tourists and Hindu pilgrims with magnetic force, visitors often stop for a meal at a popular hotel built right on the river Alakananda.

Dams Threaten Mekong Basin Food Supply

The future of food security in the Mekong region lies at a crossroads, as several development ventures, including the Xayaburi Hydropower Project, threaten to alter fish migration routes, disrupt the flow of sediments and nutrients downstream, and endanger millions whose livelihoods depend on the Mekong River basin's resources.

Resurgence of Indigenous Identity in the Crossfire in Brazil

The powerful tractors and other farm machinery that landowners recently used to block roads at a dozen points from north to south in Brazil illustrated the economic clout of big agriculture, which rose up against the demarcation of indigenous reserves.

Iceland Renews Push for Aluminium Plant

The new Icelandic government was only a day old when it announced in mid-May that it would do all it could to push ahead with the Helguvik aluminium smelter. Construction for the smelter began in in 2008 but since then has met with a variety of problems, mostly energy-related.

Landgrabbing to Provide Horn of Africa with Electricity

Ethiopia’s long-term hydropower strategy is proving to be both a source of economic sustenance and contention. In becoming Africa’s leading power exporter through the construction of a series of dams across the country, Ethiopia could threaten the lives of millions who depend on the Nile River’s waters.

Opening of Kariba Dam Floodgates Not Welcomed by All

Almost every rainy season the floodgates of Kariba Dam have to be opened to relieve pressure on the dam wall. But despite warnings not to live or farm on the river banks of the Zambezi River downstream of the dam, some people do so anyway and end up losing their crops.

Constant Checks Necessary to Maintain Integrity of Kariba Dam Wall

Lake Kariba is one of the world largest artificial lakes.  The wall that holds the water in the resevoir was built between 1955 and 1959. Since then it has remained a work in progress. Each working day a team of experts checks the integrity of the dam wall to ensure it does not collapse under the weight of the water it holds back.

U.S. Urged to Reject New World Bank Focus on Large Infrastructure

A group of environmentalists, gender activists and international finance watchdogs are calling on the U.S. government to support calls for the World Bank to step back from a new programmatic focus on large-scale infrastructure, which critics say does little to help alleviate poverty.

Hydroelectric Project Threatens Chile’s Lake Neltume

“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.

Brazilian Firms Bring Water and Power to Angolans

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.

Swiss Battery May Lose Power

Swiss energy companies are determined to turn the country into a 'battery for Europe'. Vast investments are made in big-scale water power projects. But it is not certain they will eventually pay off.

Aluminium production fuels the construction of hydroelectric dams in Brazil, like the Santo Antônio hydropower station, seen here under construction in October 2010. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

Aluminium Industry Has Its Defenders in Brazil

Aluminium, opposed by environmentalists mainly because of the amount of energy needed to produce it, is one of the targets of the heated campaign against hydroelectric dams in Brazil’s Amazon jungle region.

People’s Tribunal Defends Native Villages from Dams

"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.

Southern U.S. States Inch Towards Renewable Energy

With the U.S. East Coast virtually shutting down Monday with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, the broader debate over transitioning to cleaner energy sources and slowing, if not halting, climate change is taking on ever greater urgency.

Nile Powers Uganda Slowly

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.

A Lake of Hope and Conflict

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.

Small Dams – from Heroes to Villains in Brazil

A recent Brazilian court decision to suspend construction of small hydroelectric dams along the Paraguay River has highlighted the doubts raised about a growing alternative source of energy that until recently was considered one of the most environmentally-friendly sources.

Study Damns Mekong Dams

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.

Cambodia’s Hydro Plans Carry Steep Costs

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.

World Bank Approves Contentious Ethiopia-Kenya Electric Line

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.


Micro Hydels Power Indonesia’s Green Energy Plans

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.

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