Archive for 4 Hydropower

China’s Three Gorges Dam: A Model of the Past

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the world’s largest and most controversial hydropower project. The 660 kilometer-long reservoir displaced 1.3 million people and is wreaking havoc on the environment. The reservoir was scheduled to reach its final height in 2010, but many of its impacts are only now becoming apparent. China will deal with the project’s legacy for generations to come. As the project has been completed, International Rivers has published an updated factsheet which summarizes its legacy and recommendations for the future.  It has also published a slideshow, Three Gorges Dam: Through the Lens of the Artist, which illustrates the impacts of the Three Gorges Dam through music, photography and painting. http://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/three-gorges-dam-through-the-lens-of-the-artist-3524

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.1 Dams in China

China’s Nu River Dam Projects Threaten Magnificent World Heritage Site

Known as the Salween River in Burma and Thailand, the Nu River stretches over 3,200 kilometers from its origins on the Tibetan Plateau to its delta at the Andaman Sea in Burma. It is the second longest river in Southeast Asia and is one of only two undammed rivers in China. Yet the Chinese government has plans to build up to 13 dams on one of China’s last free-flowing rivers.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.1 Dams in China

Navigation Project Threatens, Livelihoods, Ecosystem

The Upper Mekong Navigation Improvement Project, funded by the Chinese government, is part of a grand scheme to allow large ships to freely navigate from Simao, China to Luang Prabang in Laos. The first stage of the project would destroy 11 major rapids and 10 scattered reefs along a 331-kilometer section of the Mekong from the China-Burma border to Ban Houayxai in Laos. Two rapids have already been blasted along the Lao-Burma border. The second and third stages would involve further channelization of the river. This paper focuses on the impacts of the first stage of the project.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.1 Dams in China

China’s Upper Mekong Dams Endanger Millions Downstream

This 2002 Fact Sheet describes China’s plans to dam the Mekong River and the expected impacts to millions of people living downstream.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.1 Dams in China

Xiaoxi and Xiaogushan CDM Hydropower Projects: Report from a Field Trip, November 2008

German power utility RWE, one of the biggest CO2 emitters in Europe, intends to buy CDM credits from numerous large hydro projects in China. RWE has commissioned certification company TÜV SÜD to write WCD compliance reports for the Xiaoxi and Xiaogushan dams. TÜV SÜD has ruled both projects WCD compliant. (TÜV SÜD was previously hired by the developer of Xiaoxi to validate its eligibility for the CDM. It gave the dam a positive validation). Xiaogushan Dam was “registered” (approved) by the CDM Executive Board in 2006. Xiaoxi’s application for approval was stalled in October 2008 when the Executive Board requested a review of the project’s validation on several grounds related to additionality. The aim of this report is to present findings relevant to judging whether the Xiaoxi and Xiaogushan hydropower stations are indeed likely to be WCD compliant. We also make some remarks relevant to the issue of additionality. It is not the aim of this report to make an argument for or against the expansion of hydropower in China (or, for/against particular dam projects).

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.1 Dams in China

Yunnan Hydropower Expansion Update on China’s energy industry reforms & the Nu, Lancang & Jinsha hydropower dams

Energy sector reforms in China have unleashed an explosion in power industry development proposals across the country. Nation-wide there is an intention to almost double hydropower capacity by 2010. The reforms have led to a nation-wide surge in competition between corporate generators to secure actual and potential power-producing ‘assets’, and nowhere are dam builders aspirations’ greater than in the south-west, especially Yunnan Province. Mekong Region is taken to encompass the territory, ecosystems, people, economies and politics of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China’s Yunnan Province (Mingsarn Kaosa-ard and Dore 2003). In the past Yunnan has been seen as a peripheral province – both geographically and sociopolitically. However, in terms of both the Mekong Region and China, Yunnan is increasingly important. The purpose of this research paper is to provide a brief update on what is happening in Yunnan – looking at the Nu, Lancang and Jinsha rivers – and then situate this within the wider context of China’s changing political economy.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.1 Dams in China

The New Great Walls: A Guide to China’s Overseas Dam Industry

Chinese dam companies and financial institutions are outpacing their competitors in overseas dam contracts. China’s overseas dam industry is building hundreds of dams around the world, particularly in Southeast Asia and Africa, but also in countries like Pakistan and Albania. What can communities impacted by these projects do to protect their rights and advocate for rivers targeted for dams built by China? This guide provides useful information for groups concerned about dam projects in which Chinese companies and financiers are involved.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally

China Overseas Dams List

This spreadsheet lists dam projects with various types of Chinese involvement. It includes projects which are developed or funded by Chinese institutions, or for which Chinese companies have won major contracts. For some of the projects, only a memorandum of understanding has been signed. Others are currently being studied regarding their feasibility or are under construction. Yet others have already been completed. The spreadsheet is based on media reports, and the sources of information are indicated. In some cases, we have double-checked the information, but we are not able to do this comprehensively, and cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information. Please be aware that not all entries in the database may be up to date. While some projects on the list may not go forward, others may be missing. The spreadsheet is an information service which does not give exact figures, but indicates the approximate scale of Chinese dam building around the world.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally

Chinese Dam Builders: Going Overseas

Over the past five years, the appetite for large hydropower projects by South-east Asian and African countries has increased significantly and created an opportunity for Chinese companies, supported by Chinese government loans to become involved in international dam building. China’s state owned Sinohydro Corporation estimated to have as much as a 50 per cent share of the international market.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally

Chinese Dams in Africa

Chinese corporations, financial institutions, and the government are involved in billions of dollars worth of large dams in Africa. Civil society and dam-affected peoples’ movements are concerned that China’s own poor record on protecting human rights and the environment could mean trouble for African rivers now targeted for Chinese-built large dams.

4 Hydropower, 4.2 International Rivers Reports, 4.2.2 China’s Role in Building Dams Globally