A question is raised about how our ancestors were
and how we are today. The change seems
obvious. What factors brought change. It is perhaps due to “Innovation”.
Therefore innovation is regarded as the genesis of human civilization. The addition
of innovation on the previous layer has drastically uplifted life and we are
enjoying the present form of civilization.
The process of civilization begins with that
prehistoric day where humans used fire as the first energy source. The controlled
use of fire was followed by the innovation of the coal-fired power plant in
1875. With the development of fossil fuels as an energy source, the dimension
of the physical world has been changed drastically. But at the same time, global
warming and climate change have become part of the development.
Effect of conventional fossil fuels
The territory of climate change is from local to
global. The belief, the more carbon we release; the richer we become is still
prevalent. Exporting carbon effects from its epicenter doesn’t require
permission. The temperature is rising. Glaciers are melting. The Coastal zone
is inundating. Invasive species are expanding. The water table of my well is
deepening every year.
Being prosperous in some cases is linked with the
amount of carbon they release in the atmosphere. There is an uninterrupted
marathon in publishing names in the list of billionaires. Is there any
relationship between this marathon and climate change? It is yet to spell out.
Not to my notice till now.
Everyone says global warming. Anyway, the
temperature is rising. Glaciers began to melt alarmingly in the Himalayan
region and snow lakes have become richer in their depth and volume. Who is
responsible for increasing the depth of glacier lakes? Who is responsible for
the outburst of glacier lakes and its flood?
Climate change is like a balloon. Squeezing in a
part results in the other. There are so many people mainly of developed
countries trying to squeeze the balloon in their way. But the output in terms
of climate is accumulated. Whose squeeze is responsible for what problem
The coastal zone is vulnerable. Their life is
floating on the sea. What is said that a one-meter rise in sea level submerges
many countries in the world?
Sustainable hydropower for green recovery
In most of the developing countries, despite
having multiple potentials with energy sources, it has not been utilized
properly. Electricity demand has been increasing in the world and most South
Asian countries by far have not been able to utilize the energy the fullest.
Electricity is the key to cope with the realm of
innovation. So, a country’s governance should focus on implementing major funds
in running the hydropower in full swing. This would increase the national per
capita income and contribute to the welfare of the country. The investment in the
electricity grid and maintaining the standards of hydropower facilities helps
in the boosting of running the industries at an optimal level.
The small-scale hydropower has changed the fate
of rural villages in Nepal, Bhutan, and Afghanistan. These countries have
significantly increased national electricity access for the last 10 years. This
evidence could be an example of successful electricity solutions albeit
financial, regulatory, and technical challenges.
Apart from the production of energy, hydropower
projects can manage floods and droughts. The initial investment in making damns
could be reasonably expensive, but once it is built, it can stand for decades
and has a nominal cost for maintenance. The longer running period of hydropower
contributes to the national grid sustainably.
The social aspect of sustainable hydropower also
has more benefits for the local economy. The access to electricity promotes
economic activity, helps in the empowerment, and running of small-scale
The local communities are largely affected by the
change of a certain site for hydropower generation. The government or private
agencies must ascertain the risk involved and compensate the local communities
for any unforeseen circumstances. Sustainable and mutual benefits should be
handled well before the implementation of the project. The sustainable hydropower
has enormous potential to contribute to reaching sustainable development goals.
As a renewable energy resource, the hydropower system
does not interfere with the quantity and quality of water. Unlike fossil fuels
and natural gases, water bodies do not contribute much to market price
fluctuation. It could be a long-term investment for the symbiotic benefit for the
current generation as well as the future generation.
Hydropower as a green energy source
The negative consequences of fossil fuels
discussed above portray us to seek alternative sources of energy that are clean
and use less carbon.
In the current scenario, hydropower is the best
option to cater to the maximum energy demand in many countries like Nepal,
Bhutan, Norway, Brazil, China, and so on. Overall, hydropower is a widely used
source of energy in the developed as well as developing countries. The energy
demand is always on the rise, and to maintain the supply and demand, hydropower
is one of the best sources of electricity at lower cost and operation.
It is a clean energy source with minimal toxicity
to the environment. The other conventional sources of energy like fossil fuels have
adversely affected the environment causing global warming and melting of
glaciers that might bring disasters in the long run.
The progress in human civilization and innovation
has enhanced the development of clean and low-carbon emission energy usage. In the
hydropower sector also, various technologies on systematic hydropower have
emerged. Pumped storage of water from the downhill to the upper stream as a reservoir
and using it at the time of peak demand is one way of managing the energy.
Unlike other renewable energy sources like solar
and wind power, hydropower can be transmitted when required so that it can
contribute in electric grid balance. Taking all things into consideration, if all
stakeholders related to hydropower make a unanimous decision, hydropower
expands to a higher level as the best way of generating electricity. Therefore, sustainable hydropower could make a significant
contribution to the decarbonization of the global economy in the future.