The hidden costs of hydropower

Hydropower is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest renewable energy sources, however, many still remain oblivious to the damaging side-effects of hydropower projects. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), hydropower capacity in the region grew almost threefold from 16 GW to 44 GW between 2000 and 2016. Currently, the use of hydropower is most prevalent in Vietnam, Lao PDR and Thailand, which take advantage of the Mekong River flowing through their respective borders. Data from the World Energy Council indicates that in terms of installed capacity, Vietnam leads the way in Southeast Asia with 15,211 megawatts (MW).

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