• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

To Dam… Or Not to Dam?

December 7, 2007

Once considered the cleanest, most efficient form of renewable energy, dams are falling from grace.

The findings of the World Commission on Dams (dams.org), an independent, international, workgroup that addressed issues with large dams, concluded that “the ecosystem impacts are more negative than positive, and they have led, in many cases, to significant and irreversible loss of species and ecosystems.”

Effects to fish and invertebrate populations in rivers, as well as the surrounding wildlife and vegetation, are well documented.

Recent studies conducted by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), also warn that the world’s large dams emit 104 million metric tons of methane annually – 23% of the world’s human-induced methane emission total, driven mostly by decaying organic material beneath impoundments.

Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, say scientists.

The same study found that large hydropower reservoirs in the tropics may have a higher global warming impact per kilowatt hour than the burning of fossil fuels, including coal.

Others believe these claims to be exaggerated by the anti-dam contingent.

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) says hydropower, while not perfect, remains the most viable option, in terms of economics and environment.

“Faced with increasingly unpredictable weather and growing demand for energy, the best option we have is to build impoundments that store water, so that we can control and regulate generation as we see fit,” said ICE’s Roberto’s Jiménez.

“Otherwise, we’ll be forced to burn fossil fuels.”

 

You may be interested

Central America begins ban to protect lobster
Fishing
1699 views
Fishing
1699 views

Central America begins ban to protect lobster

AFP and The Tico Times - February 27, 2021

Countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic on Monday will begin a ban to protect the Caribbean spiny lobster…

Costa Rica authorizes AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19
Costa Rica
2480 views
Costa Rica
2480 views

Costa Rica authorizes AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19

The Tico Times - February 27, 2021

Costa Rican health authorities on Friday authorized the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19, based on the endorsement of…

Nearly 100 locations now offer antigen tests for travelers in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
3274 views
Costa Rica
3274 views

Nearly 100 locations now offer antigen tests for travelers in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - February 26, 2021

Several countries, including the United States, require that returning travelers test negative for the coronavirus. More than 100 labs in…