Chasing Mirages

Tag: hydropower

Dongjiang Expedition Part 4: The perils of small hydropower

by on May.23, 2013, under Posts

Small hydropower, roughly defined as having 300 kilowatts to 30 megawatts of electricity generation capacity,  is often lauded as a low environmental impact solution for rural electrification.

In some cases, small hydropower may be useful and sustainable.  However, like large hydropower, its deployment must be planned carefully.  Small hydropower plants with reservoirs cause the same type of damage dealt by larger plants, including flooding of productive land, fragmentation of river ecosystems, and alteration of natural flows.

In-stream hydropower plants, which don’t require reservoirs, generate electricity by diverting water from the natural stream into sloped pipes that lead to turbines.  An important requirement for sustainable operation of in-stream hydropower plants is the maintenance of minimum ecological flow in the natural stream.

The over-deployment and poor planning of small hydropower has irreparably destroyed river ecosystems all over China, and Guangdong Province is no exception.

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Southwestern Adventure 江河行 2010: The Last Episode

by on Apr.09, 2011, under Posts

Finally, after months and months of delay, here is the last episode of the Southwestern Adventure.  Thanks so much for sticking with me through this trip!  Hope you enjoyed the pics and the captions.  I plan to follow up on these issues by exploring the downstream effects of China’s damming activity on its Southeast Asian neighbors.  Especially worrying are China’s damming of the Lancang River, known as the Mekong in southeast Asia, and the Nu River, also known as the Salween.

If you have contacts at NGOs or government agencies in Southeast Asia who are working on international river issues, please let me know.

Here is a map of our approximate route during this episode.

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Southwestern Adventure 江河行 2010: Episode Five

by on Feb.09, 2011, under Posts

Happy year of the rabbit.  Here are pictures from Episode 5.

Click here to see a Google map of our approximate route.

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Southwestern Adventure 江河行 2010: Episode Four

by on Jan.22, 2011, under Posts

Here is episode four of the Southwestern Adventure.

Click here to see our approximate route during this episode.

A reader in China told me that the pictures were loading really slowly so I made the pictures in this episode much smaller.  Hopefully this results in a more enjoyable viewing experience.  Please let me know when you have any complaints or suggestions about the site.  I will always do my best to address them.  I live to give.

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Southwestern Adventure 江河行 2010: Episode Three

by on Jan.09, 2011, under Posts

Here’s the third episode of the Southwestern Adventure.

Click here for a Google map showing the route on which these pictures were taken.

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