No more Hoover dams: Hydropowered countries suffer higher levels of poverty, corruption and debt | 2/4/2019 | Staff
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Countries relying on the world's biggest and most established source of renewable electricity have seen their poverty, corruption and debt levels rise and their economy slow at significantly greater rates than nations which use other energy resources over the last three decades, a major new study has found.

The study also found that hydropower states did not suffer from a hydroelectric resource curse and did not see an increase in internal conflict to any significant degree while carbon reduction benefits were realised only over time after the initial environmental impact of construction.

Benefits - Hydropower - Projects - Decades - Study

The financial benefits of major hydropower projects could also take decades to emerge, the study published today in The Review of International Political Economy found.

The new study by the University of Sussex and the International School of Management in Germany compared the security, political governance, economic development and climate change performance of major hydropower states against oil-producing and all other countries using 30 years of World Bank data.

Author - Professor - Benjamin - Sovacool - Professor

Lead author Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, said the era of the awe-inspiring mega hydropower projects such as the Hoover Dam in the US and The Three Gorges in China should be coming to an end in favour of smaller projects.

He added: "Even though hydropower might not bring immediate and all-encompassing benefits to a country, it is still a vital source of renewable energy."

Study - Kind - Researchers - Approach - Portfolios

In the most rigorous comparative study of its kind, researchers took a global approach that compared national portfolios of hydroelectric infrastructure where previous research has almost entirely focused on the impacts of individual dams or river basins. Additionally, whereas previous research tended to examine only hydropower states, this study compared hydropower countries with OPEC members and non-hydropower states.

The report's authors, Prof Sovacool and Dr. Götz Walter, say...
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