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How green can Amazon hydropower be?: Net carbon emission from the largest hydropower plant in Amazonia
Univ Sao Paulo, Brazil; Univ Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6815-7261
Fed Univ Para, Brazil.
Univ Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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2021 (English)In: Science Advances, E-ISSN 2375-2548, Vol. 7, no 26, article id eabe1470Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The current resurgence of hydropower expansion toward tropical areas has been largely based on run-of-the-river (ROR) dams, which are claimed to have lower environmental impacts due to their smaller reservoirs. The Belo Monte dam was built in Eastern Amazonia and holds the largest installed capacity among ROR power plants worldwide. Here, we show that postdamming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Belo Monte area are up to three times higher than preimpoundment fluxes and equivalent to about 15 to 55 kg CO(2)eq MWh(-1). Since per-area emissions in Amazonian reservoirs are significantly higher than global averages, reducing flooded areas and prioritizing the power density of hydropower plants seem to effectively reduce their carbon footprints. Nevertheless, total GHG emissions are substantial even from this leading-edge ROR power plant. This argues in favor of avoiding hydropower expansion in Amazonia regardless of the reservoir type.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Association for the Advancement of Science , 2021. Vol. 7, no 26, article id eabe1470
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-179986DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe1470ISI: 000669960200002PubMedID: 34172455OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-179986DiVA, id: diva2:1602071
Note

Funding Agencies|Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo (FAPESP) [2014/21564-2, 2015/09187-1, 2016/11141-2, 2016/02656-9, 2019/24977-0, 2018/15123-4, 2019/24349-9, 2011/14502-2, 2018/18491-4]; National Science FoundationNational Science Foundation (NSF) [DEB-1754317]; Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq)Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPQ) [304727/2017-2]; European Research Council (ERC)European Research Council (ERC)European Commission [725546]; Swedish Research Council VRSwedish Research Council; FORMASSwedish Research Council Formas

Available from: 2021-10-11 Created: 2021-10-11 Last updated: 2021-12-28

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