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Public opinion the biggest obstacle to hydro expansion

Hydropower has the potential to provide an abundance of low-carbon energy, but public opposition is derailing its expansion

“Since the United Nations (UN) has been so strongly against hydropower it means many mainstream people say it’s probably bad without thinking about it,” said Torstein Dale Sjotveit, chief executive of Sarawak Energy. “No one comments about the enormous expansion of coal, in the middle of a discussion about carbon dioxide (CO2), yet every hydro project is criticised without really being based in fact.” Global hydropower production was 3,288 terawatt hours (Twh) in 2008, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), around 16% of total electricity supply. This could be ramped up to 6,000 Twh in 2050, the agency said. Total global hydropower production could reach 16,400 Twh per year, th

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