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Hydroelectric power's dirty secret revealed

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posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 01:24 PM
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I dont know about you but this came as a shock to me........
Will the eco-terrorists ever stop?

Hydroelectric power's dirty secret revealed
Contrary to popular belief, hydroelectric power can seriously damage the climate. Proposed changes to the way countries' climate budgets are calculated aim to take greenhouse gas emissions from hydropower reservoirs into account, but some experts worry that they will not go far enough.

The green image of hydro power as a benign alternative to fossil fuels is false, says Éric Duchemin, a consultant for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "Everyone thinks hydro is very clean, but this is not the case," he says.

Hydroelectric dams produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, and in some cases produce more of these greenhouse gases than power plants running on fossil fuels. Carbon emissions vary from dam to dam, says Philip Fearnside from Brazil's National Institute for Research in the Amazon in Manaus. "But we do know that there are enough emissions to worry about."

In a study to be published in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Fearnside estimates that in 1990 the greenhouse effect of emissions from the Curuá-Una dam in Pará, Brazil, was more than three-and-a-half times what would have been produced by generating the same amount of electricity from oil.

This is because large amounts of carbon tied up in trees and other plants are released when the reservoir is initially flooded and the plants rot. Then after this first pulse of decay, plant matter settling on the reservoir's bottom decomposes without oxygen, resulting in a build-up of dissolved methane. This is released into the atmosphere when water passes through the dam's turbines.



hydroelectric power can seriously damage the climate.

[edit on 25-2-2005 by edsinger]




posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 02:07 PM
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The process in which dams make electricity IS clean, however, the flooding of area behind causes CO2 and methane to be produces in large amounts from the rotting plants under the water... When possible these dams are build as far away from wooded areas (i.e Hover Dam). However its still more enviromental to make a dam then a fossile fuel plant beacause fossile fuel plants do not only make CO2 and methane but other much more harmful substances not only to the atmosphere but land and water around.



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