Amazon hydropower plant contributes significant greenhouse emissions: study

Posted: June 26, 2021 by oldbrew in Emissions, Energy, research
Tags: , , ,
Belo_Monte_Dam

Impression of Belo Monte dam

A case of nature not conforming to expectations. This could apply to numerous such schemes, giving climate alarmists yet another conundrum to wrestle with.
– – –
When climate researcher Dailson Bertassoli went to measure greenhouse gas emissions at the Belo Monte hydropower plant in Brazil, the first thing he noticed was the bubbles, says Phys.org.

Developers have built hundreds of hydroelectric plants in the Amazon basin to take advantage of the allegedly “green” energy generated by its complex of rivers.

But climate researchers now know hydropower is not as good for the environment as once assumed. Though no fossil fuels are burned, the reservoirs release millions of tons of methane and carbon dioxide as vegetation decays underwater.

So called run-of-river (ROR) dams like Belo Monte along the Xingu River, which have smaller reservoirs and channels allowing reduced river flow, were meant to address the problem, but a study Friday in Science Advances found that has not been the case.

Bertassoli’s team studied methane and carbon dioxide emissions during Belo Monte’s first two years of operation and compared the results to levels prior to the reservoirs being filled, finding a threefold increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

“Once you have the flooding of dry land, the organic matter that was trapped in the soil starts to degrade,” the professor of geology and climate change at the University of Sao Paulo told AFP.

These were the source of the bubbles he saw at one of the plant’s reservoirs.

“Instead of a natural river, we now have a reactor that favors the production of methane,” he added.

And as fellow author and climate researcher Henrique Sawakuchi pointed out, these “smaller” reservoirs are still quite large, with the largest on a partly dammed river where dead trees stand starkly white amid vast stagnant green channels.

Full article here.

Comments
  1. Gamecock says:

    ‘But climate researchers now know hydropower is not as good for the environment as once assumed.’

    Whah!

    ‘Though no fossil fuels are burned, the reservoirs release millions of tons of methane and carbon dioxide as vegetation decays underwater.’

    Do you want the coal plants back?

    “Once you have the flooding of dry land, the organic matter that was trapped in the soil starts to degrade”

    Dry land? In the Amazon? (Betcha they have some amazing fungi in the Amazon.)

    Frankly, I would expect flooding to slow ‘degradation.’

  2. JB says:

    Oh good. Something to offset the loss of Amazon forestry.

  3. saighdear says:

    Well, when the townee fowk come out and tell us what to do with OUR land so that THEY may benefit, we already have known, and know they don’t / won’t listen, but Alastair tells them as it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxAibumxfOw

  4. gds44 says:

    Reblogged this on Gds44's Blog.

  5. boudicaus says:

    Reblogged this on Boudica BPI Weblog and commented:
    H/T gds44

  6. ivan says:

    Can’t help wondering if anything in the ‘renewable’ industry actually does what the zealots say it does. Wind mills don’t give power when the wind isn’t blowing, solar panels might give a little power during the day but nothing at night, both of those systems give vast amounts of non recyclable waste and now they find that hydro produces more CO2 than it saves- but then what should we expect from the ignorant wackademics that try to run things from their ivory towers.

  7. Developers have built hundreds of hydroelectric plants in the Amazon basin to take advantage of the allegedly “green” energy generated by its complex of rivers.

    But climate researchers now know hydropower is not as good for the environment as once assumed. Though no fossil fuels are burned, the reservoirs release millions of tons of methane and carbon dioxide as vegetation decays underwater.

    Roger, you are being tricked into playing in their evil game. Methane and Carbon Dioxide do not control the Climate. You point out how stupid they are but you reenforce that only greenhouse gases matter. Water is abundant, water changes states, water, in all of the different states, and the changing energy levels of all of water’s states, makes the most difference to weather and climate.

    Alex Pope

    On Sat, Jun 26, 2021 at 7:55 AM Tallbloke’s Talkshop wrote:

    > oldbrew posted: ” A case of nature not conforming to expectations. This > could apply to numerous such schemes, giving climate alarmists yet another > conundrum to wrestle with. – – – When climate researcher Dailson Bertassoli > went to measure greenhouse gas emissions at the ” >

  8. oldbrew says:

    We’re saying that, by their own climate criteria, hydro-electric schemes may fail the alarmist ’emissions’ test. That’s not to say the test is valid, just that it exists.

  9. Gamecock says:

    ‘Developers have built hundreds of hydroelectric plants in the Amazon basin’

    [citation needed]

  10. stewgreen says:

    I’m not sure I buy their claim.
    Land and soil have sequestrated CO2
    As land it’s kind of in-balance cos as plants die and release CO2 new ones grow up absorbing it.
    Cover it with water and it could become like marsh
    a lot of the decay will be different, and won’t release CO2
    instead the carbon containing transforms into something like peat.

  11. pameladragon says:

    Gotta love watching Greens hoist on their own petard!

  12. stpaulchuck says:

    and once again the Law of Unintended Consequences rears up in the face of fatuous world savers

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