China inaugurates new hydroelectric dam

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Key Highlights:

  • The second-largest hydroelectric dam turned on in China.
  • Beijing vows to accelerate work on hydroelectric projects in the country.
  • Environmentalists argue that large hydroelectric power projects cause more issues.

World’s second-largest hydroelectric dam

China turned on the world’s second-largest hydroelectric dam hailing the “world-class” new power plant as a triumph for socialist planning ahead of the Communist Party’s centennial celebrations on Thursday.

Two of its million-kilowatt producing units, each weighing as much as the Eiffel Tower, have begun to generate electricity. When fully operational, the 954-foot-high Baihetan dam on the Jinsha river near the Sichuan-Yunnan border will have 16 such units, making it the world’s second-largest generator of hydroelectric power after the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze, which has a generating capacity of 22.5 million kilowatts. According to the designers, it will eliminate the need to burn 20 million tonnes of coal each year and cut yearly carbon emissions by 51 million tonnes.

Carbon Neutral target

Hydropower is seen as an efficient means of assisting China in meeting its goal of being carbon neutral by 2060. By the end of last year, the country’s installed hydroelectric capacity had reached 370 gigatonnes or roughly 17% of total capacity.

Under its five-year economic and social development plan to 2025, Beijing has vowed to accelerate work on hydroelectric projects in the country’s southwest and the Yarlung Tsangpo valley in southern Tibet.

China invests extensively in hydroelectric power, viewing it as one of the most important sources of green energy as it strives to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. The country is on track to fulfill its Paris Agreement emissions-cutting objectives a decade ahead of schedule.

Victory for Green Technology?

Some environmentalists argue that large hydroelectric power projects cause more issues than they solve, flooding towns, altering river ecosystems, and having unpredictability for wildlife and fish populations.

Hydropower is losing appeal in other nations as a result of concerns that dams flood people and farms and alter river ecosystems, endangering fish and other species.

Despite environmentalists’ objections, Chinese officials are building additional dams in an effort to lessen dependency on coal and cut the need for imported oil and gas.

China is a world leader in the development of ultra-high-voltage (UHV) transmission technology, which is used to transport power from dams in the southwest to Shanghai and other eastern cities.

Also Read:- World’s Largest Floating Offshore Wind Farm

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