Brazil to Build 34 New Hydroelectric Dams by 2021
Energy development in the modern era moves in the same direction as food and consumables; it gets pushed exponentially as economy or infrastructure grows. Brazil may not be the largest nation on Earth in terms of general infrastructure, but they are moving forward at a considerable rate, at a level where they would now need to build an entire new “fleet” of hydroelectric power stations by 2021.
The plan by Brazil to build 34 brand new hydroelectric facilities at the Amazon Basin by the year 2021 is a step in achieving the nation’s goal of increasing their current energy output by 50%. The hydroelectric facilities that are to be constructed for the project are pretty standard energy facilities, with a few stations built to simply direct and regulate water flow in their man-made water canal network.
One of the power stations in particular however, the Jirau hydroelectric dam, will be the largest one to be constructed. It is a colossal facility that would house 50 turbines, each of which in a size and scale that, according to the report, is enough to hold a locomotive. It will be comparable to some of the largest hydro-power facilities in the world when it is complete and operational. 18,000 workers will be working on the project in order to finish the Jirau dam by 2015.
The entire project revolves around the process of diverting rivers, construction of artificial canals, and road construction. It is an expansive enterprise that holds big goals for the country’s energy production capabilities. However it isn’t all good news, because the project is actually holding no weight when it comes to the Amazon Basin itself. For instance, many of the smaller towns and communities located in the basin that are “in the way” and are scheduled for flooding. This will end up forcing very long time residents of these areas to move out of their homes and relocate.
Then there is also the irony that though hydroelectric power stations are “clean”, in the sense that it doesn’t produce carbon emissions, the entire project itself is deemed by environmentalists to be an environmental hazard. The huge effort needed to work the land and even to redirect and control water flow from multiple water sources may cause negative effects to the ecological balance of the surrounding area.
Regardless, the cost of the construction is calculated to be at around $150 billion, with over 6,000 square kilometers of land to be worked on as each of the hydroelectric facilities are completed.
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