Hydrology: focus on water quantity

GHG emissions from reservoirs

Claudia Casarotto
Started by Claudia Casarotto on
21 Apr 2013 at 05:06
Deputy Country Director - Kenya , Innovations for Poverty Action
Know-how: Sustainable Agriculture, Energy, Basin Irrigation, Water

Some interesting studies try to assess the GHG emissions from hydropower reservoirs. Surprisingly, such as in the case of the Nam Theun reservoir in Laos  http://bit.ly/158Z1SA, emissions are higher than expected and larger then emissions produced by a natural gas power plant.


Greg Marsh
@Brian, there are many negatives with wind besides look - it is very acceptable due to the high cost which makes funding more profitable for most parties (regardless of efficiency). No one solution is a silver bullet and yes I personally do not like wind power as it is currently implemented - smaller scale is better with much better economics.

As to the term "Clean" - this is subjective and most studies seem to be bias so I would suggest you never believe any of the reports 100% and try to evaluate the solution on a case by case basis. Just like many of the water solutions sound great but actually cause more problems than they solve so to is it with power.

Wind, Solar, thermal, waste, coal, hydrogen, gravity, salt, oils..... there are many solutions to look at along the way and even with power there are many current dams that can increase production dramatically with the same amount of water.

the biggest down side though - especially in places like Africa and India is the need to get power to the consumer - current projects are doomed from the beginning and only make a few rich.

Negatives for Wind Energy:
1. Power is not optimized and often needs to be heavily subsidized.
2. Massive cost to enter market and thus restricts to few (better for the banks of course).
3. Storage (same problem as solar).
4. Eye Sore
5. Maintenance often difficult
6. What do you do when you want to replace them - huge clean up mess - especially in the oceans.
7. Lead time is long.
8. Too technical for many countries.
9. Other tech is far superior.
Brian Luenow
I've never heard anything negative about wind energy (except that people dont like looking at them).
Stephen Siwila
Now which energy source is the best if hydro-power can emit huge amounts of GHGs. what is the way forward. Which resource is a clean energy source?
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