Yeah? And that makes them different from every other false ‘solution’ how, exactly?
Tropical dams emit considerably more greenhouse gas emissions than their temperate counterparts yet are being treated as a solution to climate change, warns a report published in Nature Climate Change.
The problem, argue Philip Fearnside and Salvador Pueyo, is the result of errors in calculations by energy companies. The authors single out ELETROBRÁS, a Brazilian energy giant that is in the midst of a dam-building spree in the Amazon.
“Various mathematical errors have resulted in Brazil’s electrical authorities estimating the magnitude of emissions from reservoir surfaces at a level of only one-fourth what it should be,” write Fearnside and Pueyo, who note that ELETROBRÁS’s estimates should be 345 percent higher.
“The myth can no longer be sustained that tropical dams produce clean energy,” said Fearnside.
Dams in the tropics have two principle greenhouse gas emissions sources: carbon released from soil carbon stocks and dying vegetation when the reservoir is flooded and methane formed where organic matter decays under low oxygen conditions at the bottom of the reservoir. Methane release is facilitated by a dam’s turbines, which usually draw from the bottom of the reservoir.