Archive for ‘hydroelectric’

22/09/2017

China ahead of schedule on construction of hydropower plant in Pakistan | South China Morning Post

Facility in disputed Kashmir could be completed nine months before its December 2021 deadline

China is racing to finish one of the biggest hydropower projects in Pakistan ahead of schedule, yet its location in the long-contested region of Kashmir will draw ire from India.

Construction of the 720MW Karot power station on the Jhelum river began in December and looked set to finish nine months ahead of its December 2021 completion date, a first for a Pakistan hydro-project, said Qin Guobin, chief executive officer of the state-owned China Three Gorges South Asia Investment Ltd.

The company has put in place an aggressive strategy to cut the project’s financing costs.“For us, Pakistan is a strategic market,” Qin said at the site. “If we managed to complete it earlier we can save financing costs and make it more competitive.”

China pips US in race to start the world’s first meltdown-proof nuclear power plant

Pakistan’s energy demand is expected to grow by 6 per cent to 35,000MW by 2024 as its population of more than 200 million people grows along with the economy. For more than a decade, it has been struggling to overcome daily power shortages that have left industry and residents in the dark.

China has stepped in to meet some of those shortages, financing projects worth more than US$50 billion in an economic corridor that runs through Pakistan. The route is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road Initiative” to connect Asia with Europe and Africa with a web of ports, railways and motorways links for trade.

Three Gorges’ focus in Pakistan is clean energy and it has a US$6 billion portfolio in three hydro and three solar power plants. The Karot project is in the Pakistan-administrated part of Kashmir, which India and Pakistan both claim and have fought two wars over since independence in 1947.

The ‘Belt and Road’ projects China doesn’t want anyone talking about

India’s foreign ministry said its views on “Pakistan’s illegal occupation” of Kashmir was “a matter of record”.

“We have objected, they have proceeded nevertheless,” said G. Parthasarathy, a former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan. “This has been going on since the 1960s and 1970s, when they built the Karakoram highway” that links Pakistan with China through the disputed territory, he said.

China has a neutral stance on the Kashmir dispute, said Zhao Gancheng, director of the Centre for South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.

“The ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ cannot be delayed or sidetracked by the territorial disputes,” he said.

Relations between China and India hit a recent low during a dispute between a three-way junction between Bhutan, China’s Tibet and India’s Sikkim, which was resolved with both sides standing down in August.

China, Pakistan and the challenges of Silk Road connectivity

More broadly, New Delhi is wary of Chinese investments in neighbouring countries such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka, while Beijing is irked by India’s lack of support for its infrastructure and trade initiative.

India’s concern did not bother Qin. “It’s a political issue and not the concern of a private investor,” he said.

Pakistan considers the hydropower site a national security priority. It is dotted with army pickets and plain clothes security officials. None of the Chinese staff can leave the camp office without registering his or her name at the main gate. Of the 2,070 workers at the site, 750 are Chinese.

The concern is being taken seriously by both sides. Pakistan had created a special force of 15,000 troops to defend the Chinese projects and that number might be doubled, according to people with direct knowledge of the plans, who asked not to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Chinese social media users fume over Indian magazine’s omission of Tibet and Taiwan from ‘map’

Yet risks remain after two Chinese nationals were killed in southwestern Balochistan in June. Islamic State claimed their murders.

The stakes are high for Pakistan, with the planned power generation projects potentially adding US$13 billion to its economy in the next seven years, according to an International Monetary Fund report published in July.

Pakistan’s hydropower generation potential is an estimated 40,000MW, although the existing installed capacity was only 7,116MW in the 2015-16 financial year, according to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s latest report.

Three Gorges is now eyeing the contract for the construction of a 4,500MW Diamir-Bhasha power project in northern Gilgit-Baltistan and northwestern Chillas district.

“Pakistan’s total installed capacity is equal to one big Chinese city, like Shanghai,” Qin said. “That’s not enough.”

We recommend for you

Source: China ahead of schedule on construction of hydropower plant in Pakistan | South China Morning Post

Advertisements
15/02/2015

Modi calls for innovation in renewable energy – The Hindu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for innovation and research to develop renewable energy to provide affordable electricity to every household.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet meet in Delhi on Sunday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma

Inaugurating the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet (RE-Invest), Mr. Modi called for collaboration between the 50 nations with abundant solar power to develop technological solutions.

Stating that the role of energy in development was very important, he said, “We want to increase speed and at the same time scale new heights of development and one of the sectors is energy.”

“We are focussing on renewable energy not for laurels but to lighten homes of the poor and bring a change in their lives,” he said. “We have ponds, can we think of solar panels on top of these ponds? We need to think of innovative ideas.”

He said the cost of electricity from solar photovoltaic cells has come down from Rs. 20 per unit to Rs. 7.50 and research and innovation can help bring it down further.

Hybrid power generation involving solar and wind energy should be encouraged as it will help save on transmission and power evacuation infrastructure cost, he said.

Mr. Modi also called for developing domestic manufacturing of renewable energy equipment to create jobs.

Conserving energy, he said, is the need of the hour.

via Modi calls for innovation in renewable energy – The Hindu.

02/12/2014

South Asia’s hydro-politics: Water in them hills | The Economist

IT IS a thrill trekking beside the upper Marsyangdi river in northern Nepal. On view are spectacular waterfalls and cliffs, snowy Himalayan peaks, exotic birds and butterflies. But just where tourists and villagers delight in nature, hydropower engineers and economists have long been frustrated; in such torrents they see an opportunity that for too long has been allowed to drain away.

Himalayan rivers, fed by glacial meltwater and monsoon rain, offer an immense resource. They could spin turbines to light up swathes of energy-starved South Asia. Exports of electricity and power for Nepal’s own homes and factories could invigorate the dirt-poor economy. National income per person in Nepal was just $692 last year, below half the level for South Asia as a whole.

Walk uphill for a few hours with staff from GMR, an Indian firm that builds and runs hydropower stations, and the river’s potential becomes clear. An engineer points to grey gneiss and impossibly steep cliffs, describing plans for an 11.2km (7-mile) tunnel, 6 metres wide, to be blasted through the mountain. The river will flow through it, before tumbling 627 metres down a steel-lined pipe. The resulting jet—210 cubic metres of water each second—will run turbines that at their peak will generate 600MW of electricity.

The project would take five years and cost $1.2 billion. It could run for over a century—and produce nearly as much as all Nepal’s installed hydropower. Trek on and more hydro plants, micro to mighty, appear on the Marsyangdi. Downstream, China’s Sinohydro is building a 50MW plant; blasting its own 5km-long tunnel to channel water to drive it. Nearby is a new German-built one. Upstream, rival Indian firms plan more. They expect to share a transmission line to ill-lit cities in India.

GMR officials in Delhi are most excited by another river, the Upper Karnali in west Nepal, which is due to get a 900MW plant. In September the firm and Nepal’s government agreed to build it for $1.4 billion, the biggest private investment Nepal has seen.

Relations between India and Nepal are improving. Narendra Modi helped in August as the first Indian prime minister in 17 years to bother with a bilateral visit. Urged by him, the countries also agreed in September to regulate power-trade over the border, which is crucial if commercial and other lenders are to fund a hydropower boom. Mr Modi was back in Kathmandu for a summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation, on November 26th and 27th. Governments think the normally rudderless body could find a purpose in energy integration—though the talks were poisoned by poor relations between Pakistan and India. Another big Indian hydro firm agreed with Nepal’s government, on November 25th, to build a 900MW hydro scheme, in east Nepal, known as Arun 3. Research done for Britain’s Department for International Development suggests four big hydro projects could earn Nepal a total of $17 billion in the next 30 years—not bad considering its GDP last year was a mere $19 billion.

All Nepal’s rivers, if tapped, could feasibly produce about 40GW of clean energy—a sixth of India’s total installed capacity today. Add the rivers of Pakistan, Bhutan and north India (see map) and the total trebles.  Bhutan has made progress: 3GW of hydro plants are to be built to produce electricity exports. The three already generating produce 1GW out of a total of 1.5GW from hydro. These rely on Indian loans, expertise and labour.

Why a Himalayan cross-border hydropower rush now? In Nepal projects were once scuppered by local politics, a ten-year civil war, suspicion of India and a lack of regulation that put off creditors. Slowly, such problems are being tackled. The war ended in 2006. It helps, too, that the terms of the projects look generous to the host. For Upper Karnali, GMR will set aside 12% of electricity production, free, for Nepali consumers. It will also give Nepal a 27% stake in the venture. After 25 years of operation the plant will be handed to Nepal.

A second reason, says Raghuveer Sharma of the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank), was radical change that opened India’s domestic power market a decade ago. Big private firms now generate and trade electricity there and look abroad for projects. India’s government also presses for energy connections over borders, partly for the sake of diplomacy. There has even been talk of exporting 1GW to Lahore, in Pakistan—but fraught relations between the two countries make that a distant dream.

via South Asia’s hydro-politics: Water in them hills | The Economist.

25/11/2014

Massive Himalayan hydropower dam comes on stream in Tibet | South China Morning Post

Tibet‘s biggest ever hydropower project has begun generating electricity, state-run media reported, the latest dam developed on Himalayan rivers to prompt concern in neighbouring India.

tpbje20141123187_46897531.jpg

The first generating plant at the 9.6 billion yuan (HK$12.1 billion) Zangmu Hydropower Station, which stands more than 3,300 metres above sea level, went into operation on Sunday, Xinhua said.

The dam on the Yarlung Zangbo River, known as the Brahmaputra in India where it is a major waterway, will be 116 metres high when completed next year, according to reports.

It will have a total generating capacity of 510,000 kilowatts.

“The hydropower station will solve Tibet’s power shortage, especially in the winter,” Xinhua quoted an official from Tibet Electric Power Company as saying.

India has previously expressed concern about damming the Brahmaputra, one of the largest Himalayan rivers and a lifeline to some of India’s remote, farm-dependent northeastern states.

India’s Foreign Ministry last year urged China “to ensure that the interests of downstream states are not harmed by any activities in upstream areas” of the river after state media reports that China planned several more dams there.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said yesterday that New Delhi had been aware the dam was “coming up”.

“The Chinese have told us that it should have no implications for us,” he said.

Dam construction in China has been blamed for reduced flow and sudden flooding on the Mekong River, which flows into Southeast Asia, claims Beijing has denied.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters: “The hydropower stations China builds will not affect the flood prevention and ecological system of downstream areas.”

via Massive Himalayan hydropower dam comes on stream in Tibet | South China Morning Post.

25/11/2014

Nepal to ink India power deal during Modi visit – Businessweek

Nepal’s government is signing an agreement Tuesday with an Indian company to build a hydroelectricity plant that will export power to India and also boost supplies in the energy starved Himalayan nation.

The inking of the deal with Indian company Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. to build the 900 megawatt Arun III hydropower station will coincide with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s visit to Nepal for a South Asian regional summit.

The $1.04 billion project is expected to begin producing electricity in 2020. More than three quarters of its output will be exported to India, said Ghanashyam Ojha, external affairs official at the Investment Board Nepal.

The Arun III agreement, which was endorsed by Nepal’s Cabinet late Monday, comes just two months after a similar deal with another Indian company.

They are the two biggest private foreign investments in Nepal, and put India ahead of neighboring China, which has long shown interest in developing Nepal’s power industry.

In September, Nepal signed an agreement with Indian company GMR to build the $1.15 billion Upper Karnali Hydro power plant.

via Nepal to ink India power deal during Modi visit – Businessweek.

19/11/2014

More nuclear plants and renewable energy under new development plan | South China Morning Post

China will boost oil exploration, use less coal and more natural gas, build more nuclear plants and develop renewable energy under a new seven-year development plan.

nuclear.jpg

The State Council’s newly released plans for 2014-2020 marks the latest attempt by policymakers to limit the nation’s appetite for energy. Reflecting its rapid industrialisation and economic growth, China has become a voracious consumer of energy, changing global energy markets and the geopolitics of energy security.

The document sets out five strategic tasks for the nation’s energy development. The first is to achieve greater energy independence by promoting clean and efficient use of coal, increasing domestic oil production, and developing renewable energy .

China plans to develop new and existing oilfields in nine regions where it has large proven reserves – including in the northwestern, central and northeastern provinces as well as offshore fields in the Bohai Gulf and the East and South China seas.

The plan also calls for boosting offshore oil exploration though improved exploration trace analysis, promoting deep-sea bidding from foreign corporations to develop offshore sites and greater research and development in deep-sea oil discovery technology and equipment.

The plan’s second task is to curb excessive energy consumption and implement energy-efficiency programmes in urban and rural areas. The third task builds on this goal by cutting the proportion of coal used in the nation’s energy production while using more natural gas, nuclear power and renewable energy. The plan calls for more nuclear plants to be built along the coast “at a suitable time” while also studying the feasibility of inland nuclear plants.

The fourth task is to expand international cooperation in energy, establish regional markets and participate in global energy governance. The fifth is to promote innovation in energy-related technology.

via More nuclear plants and renewable energy under new development plan | South China Morning Post.

25/03/2014

China’s Rush to Build Dams Leaves Resettled Communities in Limbo – Businessweek

China’s 12th Five-Year Plan for Energy Development, released last January, includes the admirable goal of generating 11.4 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2015. But at least one part of its plan is controversial among environmentalists and civil society advocates: the government’s aim to install 160 GW of new hydropower capacity, raising China’s total hydropower capacity to 290 GW. That would be more installed capacity than in all of Europe combined.

Currently 84 large dams are planned or under construction in southwestern China. The Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum has just released an interactive map of the dams, viewable here. At least 70 dam sites are situated in regions that the nonprofit Conservation International has classified as biodiversity hotspots.

One major concern is China’s lousy past record for conducting environmental and social impact assessments for large infrastructure projects, such as the controversial Three Gorges Dam. Unfortunately, there is little evidence that China is learning from its experience.

via China’s Rush to Build Dams Leaves Resettled Communities in Limbo – Businessweek.

Enhanced by Zemanta
21/03/2014

BBC News – Megadams: Battle on the Brahmaputra

China and India have their eye on the energy potential of the vast Brahmaputra river. Will a new wave of “megadams” bring power to the people – or put millions at risk? The BBC World Service environment reporter Navin Singh Khadka reports from Assam, India.

map

On the banks of the Brahmaputra it is hard to get a sense of where the river starts and ends. It begins far away as a Tibetan mountain stream. On the floodplains of Assam, though, its waters spread as far as the eye can see, merging with the horizon and the sky.

From here it continues through north-eastern India into Bangladesh, where it joins with the Ganges to form a mighty river delta.

For centuries the Brahmaputra has nourished the land, and fed and watered the people on its banks.

Today, though, India and China’s growing economies mean the river is increasingly seen as a source of energy. Both countries are planning major dams on long stretches of the river.

In Assam the plans are being greeted with scepticism and some fear.

The fear is that dams upstream could give China great power over their lives. And many in Assam worry whether China has honourable intentions.

Brahmaputra voices: What next for their river?

Brahmaputra stories: The businessman, the activist, the expert and the official

After a landslide in China in 2000, the river was blocked for several days, unknown to those downstream.

When the water forced its way past the blockage Assam faced an oncoming torrent. There was no advance warning. There are concerns this could happen more frequently.

Some also believe that China may divert water to its parched north – as it has done with other southern rivers.

India’s central government says China has given them assurances about the new Tibetan dams.

“Our foreign ministry has checked with China and we have been told that the flow will not be affected, and we will make sure that the people’s lives are not affected by the dams,” Paban Singh Ghatowar, minister for the development of north-eastern India, told the BBC.

By engaging in a race to dam the Brahmaputra as quickly as possible, China and India will cause cumulative environmental impacts beyond the limits of the river’s ecosystem”

Peter Bosshard

International Rivers Network

Do massive dams ever make sense?

Beijing says the dams it is building on the Tibetan stretch of the river will ease power shortages for people in that region.

“All new projects will go through scientific planning and feasibility studies and the impact to both upstream and downstream will be fully considered,” China’s foreign ministry told the BBC.

It said three new dams at Dagu, Jiacha, and Jeixu were small-scale projects: “They will not affect flood control or the ecological environment of downstream areas,” the foreign ministry said.

Despite the statements, there is no official water-sharing deal between India and China – just an agreement to share monsoon flood data.

via BBC News – Megadams: Battle on the Brahmaputra.

Enhanced by Zemanta
23/11/2013

Green China? It Leads the World in Adding Renewable Electricity – Businessweek

China has earned a reputation as the world’s worst polluter. But if the International Energy Agency is right, the Asian nation is on course to set an example for the rest of the planet on the use of energy from renewable sources over the next quarter-century.

Power lines transmit electricity generated by the Three Gorges Hydropower Station at the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, China, on July 22

According to the Paris-based agency’s World Energy Outlook, China will add more electricity generating capacity from renewable sources by 2035 than the U.S., Europe, and Japan combined. Hydro power and wind power will be the two main sources of China’s renewably sourced electricity, with solar photovoltaic cells coming in a distant third, according to the agency’s forecast. (Sorry, no link to the outlook: The IEA charges €120 ($162) for a paper copy.)

China is predicted to add more electricity generating capacity from renewable sources by 2035 than the U.S., Europe, and Japan combined.

These forecasts for China are from the agency’s central scenario, which assumes “cautious” implementation of policies that have been announced by governments but not put into effect as of mid-2013. The agency has two other scenarios, one assuming no new policies are enacted and another assuming drastic action against global warming that gives the world “a 50 percent chance of keeping to 2 degrees Celsius the long-term increase in average global temperature.”

From everything we’ve read in recent years about China’s insatiable thirst for energy, you might think the world’s No. 2 economy is going even bigger into coal than renewables, but that’s not the case, at least according to the IEA. The agency predicts that China’s share of global coal consumption will actually shrink a bit from 2011 to 2035.

China’s leadership has made energy a top priority. In 2011, the nation’s 12th Five-Year Plan set a goal of reducing energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 16 percent in the five years through 2015.

via Green China? It Leads the World in Adding Renewable Electricity – Businessweek.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/economic-factors/greening-of-china/

20/09/2013

The politics of Chinese dam-building: Opening the floodgates

The Economist: “CHINA has many good reasons not to build the $5.2 billion Xiaonanhai dam on the Yangzi river in Chongqing. The site, on a gentle slope that moves water along only slowly, is not ideal for generating hydropower. The fertile soil makes it one of China’s most productive regions, so it is densely populated with farmers reaping good harvests. And the dam (see map), which would produce only 10% of the electricity of the Three Gorges project downstream, could destroy a rare fish preserve, threatening several endangered species including the Yangzi sturgeon.

Yet it does not matter how strong the case may be against Xiaonanhai, because the battle against a hydropower scheme in China is usually lost before it is fought. The political economy of dam-building is rigged. Though the Chinese authorities have made much progress in evaluating the social and environmental impact of dams, the emphasis is still on building them, even when mitigating the damage would be hard. Critics have called it the “hydro-industrial complex”: China has armies of water engineers (including Hu Jintao, the former president) and at least 300 gigawatts of untapped hydroelectric potential. China’s total generating capacity in 2012 was 1,145GW, of which 758GW came from coal-burning plants.

An important motive for China to pursue hydropower is, ironically, the environment. China desperately needs to expand its energy supply while reducing its dependence on carbon-based fuels, especially coal. The government wants 15% of power consumption to come from clean or renewable sources by 2020, up from 9% now. Hydropower is essential for achieving that goal, as is nuclear power. “Hydro, including large hydro in China, is seen as green,” says Darrin Magee, an expert on Chinese dams at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York state.

There is also a political reason why large hydro schemes continue to go ahead. Dambuilders and local governments have almost unlimited power to plan and approve projects, whereas environmental officials have almost no power to stop them.”

via The politics of dam-building: Opening the floodgates | The Economist.

See also:

Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India