Phys Sci Res Assoc, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
- Modelling the climate change impacts on river discharge and inundation extent in the Magdalena River basin - Colombia HYDROLOGICAL SCIENCES JOURNAL 2023
Reducing adverse impacts of Amazon hydropower expansion.
Science (New York, N.Y.)
2022; 375 (6582): 753-760
Proposed hydropower dams at more than 350 sites throughout the Amazon require strategic evaluation of trade-offs between the numerous ecosystem services provided by Earth's largest and most biodiverse river basin. These services are spatially variable, hence collective impacts of newly built dams depend strongly on their configuration. We use multiobjective optimization to identify portfolios of sites that simultaneously minimize impacts on river flow, river connectivity, sediment transport, fish diversity, and greenhouse gas emissions while achieving energy production goals. We find that uncoordinated, dam-by-dam hydropower expansion has resulted in forgone ecosystem service benefits. Minimizing further damage from hydropower development requires considering diverse environmental impacts across the entire basin, as well as cooperation among Amazonian nations. Our findings offer a transferable model for the evaluation of hydropower expansion in transboundary basins.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.abj4017
View details for PubMedID 35175810
- Climate change may impair electricity generation and economic viability of future Amazon hydropower GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS 2021; 71
- Multiobjective Direct Policy Search Using Physically Based Operating Rules in Multireservoir Systems JOURNAL OF WATER RESOURCES PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT 2020; 146 (4)
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions of Amazon hydropower with strategic dam planning
2019; 10: 4281
Hundreds of dams have been proposed throughout the Amazon basin, one of the world's largest untapped hydropower frontiers. While hydropower is a potentially clean source of renewable energy, some projects produce high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit electricity generated (carbon intensity). Here we show how carbon intensities of proposed Amazon upland dams (median = 39 kg CO2eq MWh-1, 100-year horizon) are often comparable with solar and wind energy, whereas some lowland dams (median = 133 kg CO2eq MWh-1) may exceed carbon intensities of fossil-fuel power plants. Based on 158 existing and 351 proposed dams, we present a multi-objective optimization framework showing that low-carbon expansion of Amazon hydropower relies on strategic planning, which is generally linked to placing dams in higher elevations and smaller streams. Ultimately, basin-scale dam planning that considers GHG emissions along with social and ecological externalities will be decisive for sustainable energy development where new hydropower is contemplated.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-12179-5
View details for Web of Science ID 000486566500002
View details for PubMedID 31537792
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6753097