Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hydropower for Me But Not for Thee

extraordinary; on "green" hypocrisy lessening the influence of older wealthy nations in developing areas of the world

Hydropower for Me But Not for Thee | Center For Global Development:
One of the great divides between the rich and poor worlds is the access to electricity. As Todd Moss has noted, consumption of electricity by a standard single-family American refrigerator is ten times the consumption of electricity by the average Ethiopian. An equally great divide is the use of hydropower. In most rich countries over 80% of economically-viable hydropower potential is tapped; in Africa, the comparable figure is under 5%. Many African countries are, accordingly, giving high priority to developing hydropower as a source of cheap, clean energy. But to tap this energy, they need assistance from external private and public partners. Historically the World Bank and other international finance institutions have played a major role...
Into this picture steps Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 contains a legislative provision authored by Senator Leahy seeking to prohibit the construction of hydroelectric dams in poor countries: “Section 7060(c)(7)(D). The Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director of each international financial institution that it is the policy of the United States to oppose any loan, grant, strategy or policy of such institution to support the construction of any large hydroelectric dam.”
... NGOs and politicians in rich countries advocate that the poor follow a path that they, the rich, never have followed, nor are willing to follow. And so I took a look at the reality of hydropower in Senator Leahy’s home state of Vermont. On hiswebsite Senator Leahy states: “Vermont has 84 operating hydroelectric plants, with a total generating capacity of 190 megawatts, and also draws a large portion of its energy portfolio from hydropower facilities operated by Hydro Quebec…Senator Leahy believes hydropower is one component of the alternative energy solution.” At least 28 of Vermont’s dams meet the “large dams” definition used in the Leahy prohibition, as do all of the Quebec dams which supply electricity to Vermont. “Hydro-Qu├ębec’s clean, sustainable hydroelectric projects and relative price stability provide exactly the kind of power Vermonters have told us they would like,” says the CEO of Central Vermont’s Public Service.
Please read John Briscoe's full article at the Center For Global Development 

Related, on my original content blog: Green is the Old White

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