TPO – China is planning to build a huge hydroelectric dam in Tibet to generate three times more electricity than the Three Gorges dam. This plan has made environmental experts and neighboring India extremely concerned.
The new hydroelectric dam is expected to be built on the Brahmaputra River in the region before it exits the Himalayas and into India, along the world’s longest and deepest canyon at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters.
The project, located in Tibet’s Medog district, is expected to be larger than the Three Gorges dam on the Changjiang River in central China, so that it could generate about 300 billion kilowatts of electricity a year.
The plan was outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan, which was passed by the Chinese parliament at its March session. But the plan did not elaborate on the timeframe or investment budget level.
On the river that the Tibetans call Yarlung Tsangpo, two other projects have been done upstream and six are underway or on the way.
Last October, the Tibetan government signed a “strategic cooperation agreement” with PowerChina, a state-owned construction company specializing in hydroelectric projects.
One month later, PowerChina’s general manager, Mr. Yan Zhiyong, introduced the project to the Chinese Youth Union. Mr. Yan said that Tibet is “the richest region in the world in terms of hydroelectricity potential”.
Beijing may say that this giant hydroelectric project is more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels, but the plan could face fierce opposition from environmentalists like the Three Gorges dam, the dam. built from 1994 to 2012.
The Tam Hiep Dam caused 1.4 million upstream people to migrate to make space for the giant hydroelectric lake.
“Building such a massive dam is really a bad idea for a number of reasons,” said Brian Eyler, director of energy, water and sustainable development at the Stimson Center, an organization. research and policy advice in the US, reviews.
The area in which China plans to build the super dam is not only prone to seismic activities, but also has a unique ecosystem of biodiversity. The new dam will block fish migration pathways as well as the flow of sediment deposited into the lower lands during flood and rainy seasons, Eyler said.
The project could also pose political risks, experts say, as many residents are forced to leave their ancestral lands, in order to bring more Han Chinese to the area.
India is also very concerned about the Chinese plan.
Analysts say that Beijing wants to control the water resources of the entire South Asia region.
“Water wars are a key element in the war if China controls its most important natural resource,” political scientist Brahma Chellaney told the Times of India.
Chellaney said the risk of seismic activity also makes hydroelectric dams “time bombs” for people living downstream.
In response to the idea of building this dam, the Indian government said it could build another dam on the Brahmaputra River to accumulate water for itself.
According to Eyler, there is still plenty of time to negotiate with China about the future of the super dam and its impact. Poor negotiation results may lead India to implement the idea of building a hydroelectric dam downstream.
According to CNA