Planck Foundation



The potential of hydro energy can be divided in big, medium and small projects. Hydro energy has per definition (regardless the size) a huge environmental impact. Big projects has big sized big local environmental impact, medium projects has medium sized bug impact and small projects have a small sized big local environmental impact. Hydro energy equals big local environmental impact. Hydro energy attracts industries that consumes a huge base load of energy. Aluminum industries are often located near a big hydro project, as the are capable to consume all the energy the hydro project generates. This can be seen in Surinam and in Iceland and many other locations in the world that also has bauxite or has good harbors besides hydro energy. Aluminum will get severe more expensive both by the PeakBauxite (increasing demand and finite resources and limited exploring projects) as by PeakEnergy (which will cause high price rises for all types of energy). In the future an aluminum plant maybe will earn more money by selling their power capacity than there is in processing bauxite to aluminum. The building prices of hydro power projects can be lowered severely by using silicon fiber instead of iron bars as concrete enforcing. Hydro energy is carbon free, but has huge local impact and therefore is always confronted with huge local resistance. The future energy deficiency (and thereby future energy prices) will determine the further roll out of hydro energy. Hydro energy mostly can only be generated on remote locations and thereby also needs a severe power infrastructure investment. Hydropower will be used strategically (diversifying energy sources) and also if importing energy becomes a national financial burden (than huge local environmental impact will be of less important), because hydropower needs no daily fuel and performs for many years. Hydropower in earthquake regions is from both investment, human and nature perspective not a wide thing to do. Hydropower facilities are mostly war proof due the massive concrete characteristics of it. The building of hydropower will be maximized as energy prices rises and nations suffers severe from energy imports. The building of hydropower also contribute in lowering CO2 levels in the air (fighting climate change), as it is an carbon fuel free energy generation operation.

Author: Gijs Graafland

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