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New Study Finds Serious Underestimating of Costs of Large Hydropower Projects


A study on sustainable hydropower in the 21st century finds that externalities have to be taken into account by the hydropower sector because currently most socioeconomic benefits are largely overstated, while the negative externalities are underestimated. The paper also examines the climate change impacts that are being ignored in the business case for new dams, arguing that these must no longer be ignored as they directly affect the functioning of the dams.

It also proposes some solutions for ensuring better renewable energy projects. For example, it suggests ensuring a real role for environmental and social impact assessments and giving these instruments the authority to stop projects. It also emphasizes the importance of transparency and information distribution about the impacts of the planned projects.

The paper largely focuses on hydropower projects in the Amazon, Congo and Mekong river basin.

The study may be read here.