July 13 marked the commencement of construction work on the Shuangjiangkou Dam in Sichuan’s Dadu River. At 314 meters tall (1,030-ft), the Shuangjiangkou Dam will take over to become the world’s tallest dam, surpassing the 305-meter tall Jinping-1, also located in Sichuan.
Over the past couple of years, China has been massively expanding its hydropower electricity generating capacity in an effort to reduce carbon emission while obtaining 20 percent of power from non-fossil sources by 2030.
The Shuangjiangkou Dam, costing 36 billion RMB, is said to contain four 500 MW Francis turbine-generators for an installed capacity of 2000 MW, generating on average 7.707 billion kilowatts of electricity a year.
As of now, there are over 85,000 other hydropower facilities in China. The Three Gorges, the world’s largest dam in terms of installed capacity, is also located in China and has been called one of the country’s “biggest environmental nightmares“.
With the ongoing construction of hydropower facilities, millions of people have been forced to relocate, often with little to no compensation. The building of dams has also caused declines in fish stocks and disruptions to aquatic life. A spokesperson for the US-based NGO International Rivers believes the true cost of hydropower in China is vastly ignored when considering environmental and asocial costs.
But it doesn’t look like China’s slowing down any time soon. Construction on the Shuangjiangkou Dam is expected to be completed in 2022.
By Crystal Lau
[Images via Yahoo]