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Title: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions of Amazon hydropower with strategic dam planning
Authors: Almeida, Rafael M.
Shi, Qinru
Gomes-Selman, Jonathan M.
Wu, Xiaojian
Xue, Yexiang
Angarita, Héctor A.
Barros, Nathan Oliveira
Forsberg, Bruce Rider
García-Villacorta, Roosevelt
Hamilton, Stephen K.
Melack, John M.
Montoya, Mariana
Perez, Guillaume
Sethi, Suresh Andrew
Gomes, Carla P.
Flecker, Alexander S.
Keywords: Carbon
Fossil Fuel
Alternative Energy
Electricity Generation
Energy Planning
Energy Resource
Fossil Fuel
Greenhouse Gas
Power Plant
Small Scale Hydropower
Strategic Approach
Sustainable Development
Carbon Footprint
Dam (barrier)
Electric Power Plant
Environmental Planning
Greenhouse Gas
Multiobjective Optimization
Renewable Energy
Strategic Planning
Amazon Basin
Issue Date: 2019
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Nature Communications
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 10, Número 1
Abstract: Hundreds of dams have been proposed throughout the Amazon basin, one of the world’s largest untapped hydropower frontiers. While hydropower is a potentially clean source of renewable energy, some projects produce high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit electricity generated (carbon intensity). Here we show how carbon intensities of proposed Amazon upland dams (median = 39 kg CO2eq MWh−1, 100-year horizon) are often comparable with solar and wind energy, whereas some lowland dams (median = 133 kg CO2eq MWh−1) may exceed carbon intensities of fossil-fuel power plants. Based on 158 existing and 351 proposed dams, we present a multi-objective optimization framework showing that low-carbon expansion of Amazon hydropower relies on strategic planning, which is generally linked to placing dams in higher elevations and smaller streams. Ultimately, basin-scale dam planning that considers GHG emissions along with social and ecological externalities will be decisive for sustainable energy development where new hydropower is contemplated. © 2019, The Author(s).
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12179-5
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