'Dams' Tag Archive

Feb 26 2005

Hydroelectric Power’s Dirty Secret Revealed – New Scientist


Hydroelectric dams produce significant amounts of CO2 and methane – some produce more greenhouse gases than fossil fuel power plants.

Duncan Graham-Rowe, New Scientist, 26-2-2005, issue 2488

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.”

“Reservoirs convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into methane, which has 21 times the warming effect” Read More

Nov 29 2003
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‘Power Driven’ – The Guardian


The Guardian, November 29, 2003

‘Power Driven’ appeared in The Guardian Weekend in 2003 and made a major impact in Iceland. It is still the best main stream analysis of many key issues at stake and an excellent overview of the social background.

In Iceland, work has already begun on a colossal $1bn dam which, when it opens in 2007, will cover a highland wilderness – and all to drive one US smelter. Environmentalists are furious, but the government appears determined to push through the project, whatever the cost. Susan DeMuth investigates.

North of Vatnajokull, Europe’s biggest glacier, lies Iceland’s most fascinating and varied volcanic landscape. Ice and boiling geothermal infernos meet at the edges of the glacier, and then the largest remaining pristine wilderness in western Europe begins – a vast panorama of wild rivers, waterfalls, brooding mountains and mossy highlands thick with flowers. Read More

Jun 02 2003

Iceland’s Wilderness Under Attack


Einar Þorleifsson and Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
World Birdwatch vol. 25 no. 2, June 2003

 

falcon and reindr 

As reported in the previous issue of World Birdwatch (25(1):7), a huge dam is being built in a remote part of Iceland to supply hydroelectric power for an aluminium smelter. The development is vigorously opposed by Fuglaverndunarfélag Íslands (Icelandic Society for the Protection of Birds, ISPB, Birdlife in Iceland). ISPB’s Einar Ó. Thorleifsson and Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson discuss the likely impacts on the unique wildlife and scenery of this pristine environment. Read More

Feb 19 2003

ALCOA and WWF


Mines and Communities
London Calling!
February 19 2003

THE “WOOF” AND ITS WEB-FOOTED FRIENDS

Birds have a habit of coming home to roost. None more so than the rare pink-footed geese, who winter in Britain and nest and feed at Karahnjukar in Iceland every year. Whether dodgy deals by conservationists also come home to roost is open to question.

handaband

However, the world’s biggest public-subscription conservation organisation now faces what might (just) be its biggest controversy yet. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF, or”WOOF” as its fondly known) seems split down the middle over a new sponsorship deal. Read More

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