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Hydropower is supposed to be "clean," as it doesn't rely on the burning of fossil fuels. But this form of renewable energy is controversial for several reasons.
From displacing human settlements to inundating biodiverse landscapes, the construction of dams and hydropower facilities presents numerous environmental and social problems. Yet hydropower is a source of renewable energy - and if done with proper planning, can truly be green.
We talk about the IPCC's grave warning to the world and why we urgently need clean energy alternatives, hear of solar success in Brazil's favelas, travel to one of Georgia's longest rivers where hydropower is clashing with precious wildlife habitats, and listen to Texans on how they feel about wind power picking up in the oil state.
Mountainous and home to many glacier-fed rivers, Georgia is ideal for hydropower. Although it already generates more than 80% of its electricity this way, consumption is increasing and the government wants to build more dams. But Georgia is also a biodiversity hotspot and conservationists are concerned that plans for two new dams could threaten one of the world's most ancient fish.
The Mekong River flows 5,000 kilometers from China to Vietnam. China's construction of large hydropower dams along the river to feed the country's growing energy needs is causing problems downriver — having devastating impacts on water availability and the fertile soil that feeds hundreds of millions of people in Southeast Asia.
Although freshwater sustains us in so many ways, it's often taken for granted — until it's gone. Peatlands drained for palm oil plantations in Indonesia exact an ecological and human toll. Kenya's Athi River, once a prime tourist attraction, has become a stinking cesspool. And, Bhutan banks on hydropower for its clean energy development.
The Mekong River in Southeast Asia flows for 4,350 kilometers from China to Vietnam through Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia. China's construction of large hydropower dams to feed the country's growing energy needs is causing problems downriver, including dire impacts on the waters and fertile soil that feed hundreds of millions of people.
The Mekong River flows 5,000 kilometers from China to Vietnam. China's construction of a number of large hydropower dams to feed the country's energy needs is causing problems downriver, and having dire impacts on the fertile soil that feeds hundreds of millions of people.
DW’s investigates fake trials in China’s "reeducation centers" in Xinjiang – Olivier de Schutter (IPES) talks about which parts of African farming are getting cash and why sustainable farming isn’t one of them – An insider look at Bhutan’s booming hydropower business