Energía

DRP News Bulletin 10 July 2017 (Private Companies Exit Unviable Large Hydro Projects) (10-07-2017)

Palabras clave: dams- Jindal- India  South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP): In a remarkable trend emerging in hydro sector in Himachal Pradesh, many leading private companies have started surrendering hydro power projects allotted to them by State Govt. As per the news report, Tata Group, Reliance, Jindal and Larsen & Toubro have either surrendered or are in process of surrendering numbers of hydro projects given to them over past one and half decade. These companies are now increasingly terming the projects as  non-viable and unprofitable. In the last week of June, 2017, Tata group reportedly has written to Directorate Energy, expressing its desire to surrender the 450 MW Duggar power project in Pangi area of Chamba district. The project had been allotted to them in 2007-08 and post feasibility study done by its consultants the group has found the unviable. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/tatas-give-up-chamba-power-project/428456.html Before this the Reliance group had declined to set up  300 Mw Purty and 130 Mw Sumte Kothan hydro projects in Spiti. Following this, the State Cabinet on June 24, 2017 meeting agreed to return Rs 85 crore paid as upfront money by Reliance group. Similarly in recent past, the Jindal group, which was allotted the 250 MW Kutehar power project in Chamba, put the project on hold for some time without citing specific reasons. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/reliance-power-to-get-back-rs-85-cr-it-paid-to-govt-for-2-projects/427112.html In the latest incident, anticipating problems in evacuating power, with the market being very grim as far as buyers and power rates are concerned, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) is reported to have urged the state govt to enter into a power-purchase agreement (PPA) with it for two of its hydel projects — Reoli Dugli (Lahaul-Spiti) and Sach Khas (Pangi), located in the arduous Chenab basin. In its letter addressed to the Director, Energy, the company has pointed out that there is no road infrastructure in the area and there is a provision for evacuation of power. Another stumbling block is the hurdle being faced by the company in getting clearances for starting work on the two self-identified projects of 4.4 Mw Jindi and 3.5 Choo allotted to it by Himurja to meet its own power requirement for the construction of two big projects. The company had been allotted the 430-MW Reoli Dugli project near Udaipur in the tribal district of Lahaul-Spiti in January 2011. The other project allotted to it was 267-MW Sach Khas in Pangi, Chamba district, in September 2009. An official of company has admitted that the company is reluctant to go ahead with the projects unless the state govt enters into a PPA with it. The company is reluctant to start the projects, considering the fact that the cost of power is working out to be almost Rs 9.90 per unit, whereas the power rates in the market are hovering around Rs 2.50 to Rs 3 per unit. Incidentally, the production cost per unit is so high after the concession given by the govt of exempting projects in the Chenab basin from providing 12 per cent free power to it. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/l-t-may-pull-out-of-hydro-power-projects/430333.html Lea la noticia: https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/drp-news-bulletin-10-july-2017-…
Read more...

Landsat-based analysis of mega dam flooding impacts in the Amazon compared to associated environmental impact assessments: Upper Madeira River example 2006–2015 (2017)

Cochrane, S. M. V., Matricardi, E. A. T., Numata, I., and Lefebvre, P. A. (2017) Landsat-based analysis of mega dam flooding impacts in the Amazon compared to associated environmental impact assessments: Upper Madeira River example 2006-2015. Remote Sensing Application: Society and Environment 7: 1-8

Cientos de represas están actualmente en construcción o se han construido en la Amazonia brasileña con el propósito de impulsar el desarrollo social a través de la energía hidroeléctrica y el transporte de mercancías a lo largo de los ríos. Sin embargo, muchas veces  las evaluaciones de impacto ambiental utilizadas para aprobar estos proyectos han omitido o subestimado los impactos de estas represas, lo que conduce a daños graves y a menudo irreparables. Cochrane, Matricardi, Numata y Lefevre realizaron un estudio de caso de las mega-represas de Santo Antônio y Jirau en el río Madeira en Rondônia, Brasil y utilizaron Landsat TM y OLI para determinar el área cubierta por agua a lo largo de un tramo de 539 km del río Madeira desde el año 2006 hasta el 2015 (que cubre el antes y el después de la construcción de las presas). El método de clasificación utilizado en este estudio fue modificado con base en métodos anteriores y proporcionó una clasificación de agua muy precisa que sugiere que es una manera valiosa de clasificar con precisión el agua junto con otras clases de cobertura del suelo. Este y otros análisis mostraron que los embalses eran por lo menos 341 km2 (64,5%) mayor de lo previsto con un adicional de 102 km2 de inundaciones impredecibles fuera de las áreas de reserva previstas y 160 km más de bosques naturales inundados de lo esperado.

Read more...

Study: Brazilian mega-dams caused far more flooding than EIA predicted (05-07-2017)

Palabras clave: Brasil- megarepresas- presas de Santo Antônio y Jirau- Amazonía- EIA- Bolivia Este artículo en inglés trata sobre la investigación realizada por la analista geoespacial Sheila Cochrane quien realizó un estudio por satélite de las presas de Santo Antônio y Jirau en la Amazonía brasileña. Esta investigación arroja varios datos interesantes acerca del área inundada por los embalses de estas presas. Más precisamente, el estudio encontró que los impactos proyectados por la Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental (EIA) realizada como parte del proceso de concesión de licencias de las presas brasileñas son mayores de lo previsto. En cuanto a Bolivia, la EIA solo anticipó impactos en Brasil, pero también ocurrieron inundaciones en la frontera boliviana. Claire Salisbury (Moganbay) 5-7-2017: 
  • A satellite study of the Santo Antônio and Jirau dams in the Amazon found the area flooded by their reservoirs to be much greater than projected by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) done as part of the Brazilian dams’ licensing process.
  • Satellite images from 2006-2015 were analyzed, spanning the time immediately before, during, and after dam construction, and then these images were compared with the flooding predictions found in the EIA.
  • The total flooded area upstream of the dams was found to be 69.8 percent larger than projected by the EIA. The area of natural forest flooded exceeded EIA predictions by 52 percent.
  • Political considerations likely influenced the EIAs gross inaccuracy, with real world results. In 2014, Madeira River floods upriver from the dams impacted 75,000 people, killed a quarter-million livestock and caused over US $180 million in damage.
The Madeira River, one of the Amazon’s major tributaries, is the focus of intense hydroelectric dam development, part of a massive wave of infrastructure construction occurring across the Amazon basin.As currently planned, the Madeira Hydroelectric Complex, located in the Brazilian state of Rondônia, will consist of four dams and a navigable industrial waterway built along the river’s course, with serious implications for the exceptionally biodiverse freshwater and forest ecosystem, as well as for indigenous people and traditional river communities. A new study, which examined two of the complex’s already completed mega-dams — the Santo Antônio and Jirau dams — has found that the area flooded as a result of their construction was significantly greater than predicted by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out prior to the dams’ licenses being approved. The study, published in Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, was led by Sheila Cochrane, a geospatial analyst at South Dakota State University. Cochrane, who was a high school student at the time she carried out her study, was inspired to look into the extent of dam impacts after visiting the Santo Antônio dam, located near the Brazilian border, during a field trip. There, she witnessed “substantial flooding and forest death,” caused by the dam, extending all the way upriver into neighboring Bolivia. The Santo Antônio dam, on the Madeira River, Brazil, part of the Madeira Hydroelectric Complex. A wave of dam development across the Amazon basin is doing irreparable harm to freshwater and forest ecosystems. Photo by the Brazil’s Growth Acceleration Program (Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (PAC)) on flickr, used under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license To investigate just how extensive the flooding was, Cochrane used Landsat satellite images to map and measure the area now under water in the vicinity of the Santo Antônio and Jirau dams, upstream of Porto Velho in the State of Rondônia. She looked at images from a 10-year period (from 2006-2015) spanning the time immediately before, during, and after dam construction; the reservoirs for both dams were filled between 2013-2015. She then compared her measurements with the predictions contained within the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) conducted prior to the dams’ license approval. By 2015, the combined reservoirs measured 870 square kilometers (336 square miles), which is 341 square kilometers (132 square miles) more than the EIA predicted. What’s more, the EIA only anticipated impacts in Brazil, but flooding also occurred over the border in Bolivia. When this is taken into account, the total flooded area upstream of the dams increases to 898 square kilometers (347 square miles); an area 69.8 percent larger than projected by the EIA. The majority (78 percent) of land that is now submerged was previously intact forest, and the area of natural forest that was lost (468 square kilometers; 181 square miles) exceeded EIA predictions by 52 percent (160 square kilometers; 62 square miles). A new study used satellite images to quantify the extent of flooding caused by the Santo Antônio and Jirau dams. It found that flooding upstream was almost 70 percent greater than had been predicted in the dams’ Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and that serious flooding had crossed the border into Bolivia. Figure from Cochrane et al. 2017, used under a CC BY-NC-ND license Cochrane wasn’t surprised to see the final figures, citing other studies that had correctly predicted such large areas of flooding prior to the dams being constructed. But what did surprise her was just how wrong the EIA had been. She also emphasized that impacts would increase over time. “[T]he figures we provided are certainly conservative. Our imagery was taken during the dry season after the reservoir areas would have peaked,” she explained, with further flooding, not visible in satellite images, under the canopy. “In addition, the surrounding water tables will rise with the increased area of the reservoirs, killing even more forest. The point here is that the area of impact will only grow in the next few years and we are uncertain of how much growth that will prove to be.” What does that mean for the wider ecosystem? Cochrane sees two especially important consequences: the interruption of sediment flow from the Andes into the lower Amazon basin, and the permanent inundation of the floodplain varzeaecosystem — a floodplain forest seasonally inundated by whitewater rivers that occurs in the Amazon biome. Degraded varzea floodplain forest, which is in the process of dying as a result of prolonged flooding. Over 50 percent more forest loss occurred after the dams were built than had been predicted in the EIA, the study found. The loss of varzea habitat will be felt by both aquatic and forest ecosystems. Its loss will also impact local livelihoods and human communities. Photo by Eraldo Matricardi Half the Amazon River’s sediment flows down the Madeira River from Andean headwaters, and this makes a critical contribution to the nutrients and habitats that lie downstream. As sediment builds up behind a dam not only is this vital process interrupted, but the dam’s lifespan and efficiency is compromised. “The rate at which sediments will accumulate at the base of the dam is of grave importance because sedimentation is the primary cause of dam failure, and with Porto Velho, a city of over 500,000 people, just below the Santo Antônio dam, failure of either dam could prove catastrophic,” Cochrane added. The loss of the varzea, the seasonally flooded forest, has “huge financial and biodiversity implications since it plays a key role in both terrestrial and aquatic spheres,” explained Cochrane. That ecosystem’s location beside river channels means it is the first to feel the impact of reservoirs being filled. “Even varzea tree species (which are adapted for seasonal inundation) will not survive permanent inundation,” explained Isabel Jones, of Stirling University in the UK. “The additional forest loss caused by the extra ~65 percent flooding found [in this study] may therefore lead to a loss of endemic tree species, as well as significant emissions of carbon, as dead trees biodegrade,” added Jones, who studies the ecological consequences that arise when forest islands are formed as reservoirs are filled. In light of her findings, Cochrane thinks EIAs need to be more comprehensive, and should also incorporate greater uncertainty into their assessments. Understanding the interacting, cumulative effects of multiple dams across the Amazon basin should also be a priority. “If our understanding of the way individual dams will impact surrounding ecosystems is somewhat poor, then we have very little knowledge indeed of the impact hundreds of dams combined across the Amazon will have.” A view of the Madeira River from space, looking west-southwest from the Amazon Basin in Brazil toward Bolivia. Landsat provided images that clearly showed the degree of flooding before and after the construction of the Santo Antônio and Jirau dams. Photo by the NASA Earth Observatory Camila Ritter, of the University of Gothenburg, is a proponent of incorporating technological advances, such as satellite imagery, into EIAs in Brazil. This study “shows how remote sensing can be used to accurately measure and predict the environmental impact of proposed anthropogenic activities,” she said. “The images used in the study are open and available for free, which makes these kinds of analyses cheap and straightforward to carry out,” something she says suggests “that it is, in fact, political rather than technological issues that prevent accurate environmental impact assessment right now.” This issue also concerns Cochrane. “[I]t isn’t always the EIAs themselves that are the problem,” she explained, but rather the political pressure that can push harmful projects — such as the Santo Antônio and Jirau dams — through the system, projects “that either required better mitigation strategies or shouldn’t have been approved at all.” A cursory look at the licensing process for these two Madeira River dams shows that the Brazilian government pulled out all the legal stops in order to get the projects approved, resulting in complaints from Bolivia after the dams were built, and contributing to devastating floods in 2014 in which 75,000 people were impacted and a quarter-million livestock died, with economic losses of at least US$180 million. Reducing political influence on EIAs will be key if they are to be effective in better protecting the environment, Cochrane concludes: “While it will be important to create more accurate and comprehensive EIAs in the future, such political pressure must be prevented from controlling the environmental licensing process as it can completely undermine it.” Citation: Cochrane, S. M. V., Matricardi, E. A. T., Numata, I., and Lefebvre, P. A. (2017) Landsat-based analysis of mega dam flooding impacts in the Amazon compared to associated environmental impact assessments: Upper Madeira River example 2006-2015. Remote Sensing Application: Society and Environment 7: 1-8
  • Aerial view of the Santo Antônio dam. The Madeira River dams will have major long term environmental impacts. Half the Amazon’s sediment flows down the Madeira River from Andean headwaters, which makes a critical contribution to the nutrients and habitats downstream. Sediment build up behind the dams interrupts this process, and compromises the functioning and longevity of the dams. Photo by the Brazil’s Growth Acceleration Program (Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (PAC)) on flickr, used under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license
  • Lea aquí la noticia: https://news.mongabay.com/2017/07/study-brazilian-mega-dams-caused-far-…
Read more...

En 10 años, la tarifa eléctrica bajó sólo 2 veces (20-06-2017)

Palabras clave: incremento tarifas de la luz - COB- ENDE- CEDLA- Carlos Arze Los Tiempos. 28-06-2017: La tarifa de la luz sólo se redujo en dos oportunidades durante los últimos 10 años, según datos del Ministerio de Energías. Las medidas fueron aplicadas en el primer semestre de 2009 y en el segundo semestre de 2010, en cumplimiento al Decreto Supremo 27302 del año 2003 que permite subir el costo de la energía hasta un 3 por ciento y reducir en el mismo porcentaje. La primera caída del costo de la electricidad tuvo lugar durante el primer semestre del año 2009, con una disminución de un 1,30 por ciento. Asimismo, en el segundo semestre de 2010 se volvió a repetir el comportamiento con una caída del 0,82 por ciento, según datos del Ministerio de Energía. Por otra parte, en el periodo conformado en los años 2007 y 2008 se reportó un aumento de tarifas entre el 0,84 al 2,12 por ciento. Asimismo, en el segundo semestre de 2009 y el primer semestre de 2010 se volvió a identificar el aumento. A partir de 2011 se mantuvo una tendencia sostenida en el aumento del costo de la electricidad con un mínimo de 0,38 por ciento en el primer semestre de 2012 y un máximo histórico del 3 por ciento registrado en el primer semestre de 2014 que se repitió el segundo semestre de este año. El investigador en temas de energía del Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Laboral y Agrario (Cedla), Carlos Arce Vargas, explicó que las variaciones ocurren porque la legislación boliviana garantiza las utilidades de las empresas generadoras, distribuidoras y comercializadoras de electricidad. “Lo que dice la norma es que se puede hacer una fijación nueva de las tarifas de acuerdo a varios indicadores. Básicamente los costos de generación, de transporte y de distribución, que son las tres fases del sistema eléctrico”, precisó. El analista también explicó que en la fase de generación se toma en cuenta los resultados de la generación y las pérdidas de electricidad durante este proceso. Por otro lado, en la etapa de transporte se fijan las tarifas de interés que determina la cantidad de energía recibida y despachada desde los generadores. Por su parte, el presidente de la Empresa Nacional de Energía (ENDE), Eduardo Paz, explicó en un contacto anterior con este medio que la variación del precio de la electricidad responde a un factor de estabilización de la cadena eléctrica que está vigente desde 2003 y que se aplica por temporadas. En tanto, el ministro de Economía, Mario Guillén, manifestó que las tarifas de electricidad están congeladas hace mucho tiempo y el incremento autorizado en la actualidad es mínimo en comparación a lo que paga el consumidor final. “En realidad si ustedes ven en el porcentaje que se está incrementando respecto a lo que la gente paga son incrementos mínimos, que en conjunto no tienen incidencia. Estamos convencidos de que este 3 por ciento no es significativo”, aseguró citado en ABI. El ampliado de la Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) determinó ayer un paro nacional con movilizaciones para el próximo 12 de julio en rechazo al incremento del tres por ciento en las tarifas de luz, entre otros puntos. ACEPTAN MEDIDA El presidente de la Confederación de Empresarios Privados de Bolivia (CEPB), Ronald Nostas, aseguró ayer que el ajuste en la tarifa de energía eléctrica en el país, de hasta un 3 por ciento, es “manejable” y de ninguna manera debe generar un proceso inflacionario en el mercado interno. Nostas se refirió al tema tras reunirse con los ministros de Economía, Mario Guillén, y de Energía, Rafael Alarcón, quienes explicaron la medida. Leer noticia aquíhttp://www.lostiempos.com/actualidad/economia/20170628/10-anos-tarifa-e…
Read more...

Crece malestar en los vecinos por el incremento en tarifas de electricidad

Crece el malestar a nivel nacional por la reciente alza de las tarifas de electricidad. Este lunes en Santa Cruz, vecinos protagonizaron una marcha de protesta, mientras que sus pares en El Alto exigieron la presencia del Ministro de Energías para explicar el incremento y no descartan movilizarse. La molestia de las organizaciones vecinales se debe a la reciente autorización de la Autoridad de Electricidad (AE) para incrementar las tarifas al usuario. Delapaz afirmó que el alza que aplica es de un máximo de 3% y CRE anunció que en el caso de Santa Cruz el aumento es en promedio un 3,5%. El presidente de la Fejuve de El Alto, Sandro Ramírez, dijo que hay molestia en su organización. Afirmó que el incremento es irrespetuoso porque no se consultó con la organización vecinal. Informó que se ha enviado al ministro de Energías, Rafael Alarcón, una nota para que se presente en la Fejuve a explicar el incremento. A la carta, se adjunto la última resolución de la organización vecinal en la cual se advierte que la población se está convulsionando por este tema. Ramírez advirtió que si el ministro ignora la convocatoria de la Fejuve, se llamará a una nueva reunión en la cual se podría determinar medidas de presión. En Santa Cruz, diferentes sectores sociales a la cabeza de la Federación Departamental de Juntas Vecinales (Fedjuve) marcharon en demanda de que se anule al incremento de la electricidad autorizado por la AE, reportó radio Alternativa de la Red ERBOL. Entre los marchistas hubo personas que se quejaron de las altas tarifas y alertaron que el incremento afectará a su bolsillo. “A través del tarifazo pago 320 bolivianos en una familia se seis personas, es una barbaridad”, dijo uno de los movilizados. “Nosotros no aceptamos. El pueblo no está de rodillas, estamos cada vez más fuertes. Todos vamos a luchar, todas las instituciones juntas, este el comienzo de la mucha”, agregó otra de las marchistas. http://www.erbol.com.bo/noticia/economia/26062017/crece_malestar_en_los…
Read more...

Bloomberg: Trump planea dominar la producción de energía mundial

El presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, insta a aumentar la extracción de hidrocarburos para dominar el mercado de esta materia a nivel mundial. En un informe en su edición del domingo del portal financiero estadounidense Bloomberg, citando a fuentes anónimas de la Casa Blanca, el mandatario estadounidense planea declarar la 'Semana de la energía' con el fin de establecer polítcas de desarrollo de las exportaciones de hidrocarburos del país. El artículo también informa que la Administración de Trump está revisando las normas legislativas que limitan el desarrollo de la esfera energética y busca eliminar las barreras que impiden una mayor producción de petróleo, gas, carbón y otros tipos de energía. Agrega que Trump abordará esta semana en el Departamento de Energía el efecto de las exportaciones estadounidenses de hidrocarburos en la arena internacional y las relaciones con sus aliados. Bloomberg destaca que la decisión del jefe de Estado norteamericano marca una "evolución", ya que los gobernantes anteriores solo hablaban de la "independencia energética" en relación con los proveedores extranjeros de petróleo y gas. No obstante, las nuevas políticas de Trump podrían empeorar la situación en el mercado petrolero y de otros energéticos, que “ya está saturado”, opina el autor del artículo. Esta medida de Trump refuta las políticas adoptadas por el gobierno anterior de EE.UU., encabezado por el presidente Barack Obama, quien prohibió de forma permanente las nuevas perforaciones en busca de crudo y gas en aguas federales de los océanos Atlántico y del Ártico. Además, contradice la decisión adoptada el año pasado en la Organización de Países Productores de Petróleo (OPEP) de reducir su producción en 1,2 millones de barriles diarios, con la esperanza de sostener las cotizaciones del crudo, hundidas por una oferta excesiva. Estados Unidos bate récord de exportación de petróleo, con una cifra de 1,3 millones de barriles de crudo enviados diariamente a países terceros. Los datos oficiales aportados por Estados Unidos muestran también un récord en la refinación, con 17,51 millones de barriles diarios, convirtiéndose también en uno de los principales exportadores de gasolina y gasóleo, dado que en año y medio ha aumentado su capacidad de refino en 800.000 barriles diarios.
Read more...

Estudian 7 hidroeléctricas en la cuenca Río Grande (23-06-2017)

Palabras clave: Rositas- Exim Bank China Josué Hinojosa. Los Tiempos. 23-06-2017:  El presidente de la Empresa Nacional de Electricidad de Bolivia (ENDE), Eduardo Paz, informó que una consultora internacional realiza los estudios de prefactibilidad de seis centrales hidroeléctricas que se construirán en la Cuenca Río Grande, en el departamento de Santa Cruz. En esa misma cuenca se construirá la hidroeléctrica Rositas, que ya cuenta con un estudio a diseño final. Sin precisar mayores detalles sobre la empresa a cargo de los estudios, Paz, en contacto telefónico con este medio, explicó que los estudios de prefactibilidad de las seis centrales hidroeléctricas de esta cuenca estarán listos en los próximos meses para precisar el potencial de energía que aportarán. “Esta cuenca es parte del proyecto de la oferta boliviana de exportación (de energía) a Brasil. Entonces estamos esperando a futuro poder desarrollar todas las cuencas, no es un proyecto en particular”, explicó. En la zona, ya hubo resistencia de parte de los pobladores al proyecto hidroeléctrico Rositas. El asambleísta por la provincia Vallegrande, Alcides Vargas, que forma parte del directorio del Comité de Defensa de Tierra y Territorio de las comunidades comprometidas con Rositas, criticó el proceso de socialización que lleva adelante ENDE. Explicó que los funcionarios de la estatal boliviana llegaron a algunas comunidades próximas a la zona de Abapó (provincia Cordillera), las cuales son beneficiadas y no afectadas por la hidroeléctrica. Según Vargas, ENDE promete a estas comunidades elaborar proyectos de riego a fin de ganar apoyo y llevar adelante el proyecto Rositas, dejando al margen la propuesta del Comité que consiste en optar por la construcción inmediata del proyecto la Pesca, que implicará un menor impacto socio-ambiental. El documento de ENDE al que accedió este medio indica que las centrales hidroeléctricas de la Cuenta Río Grande son: Rositas, con una capacidad de generación de 400 Megavatios (MW); La Pesca, con 740 MW; Peña Blanca, con 520 MW; Ocampo, con 320 MW; Las Juntas, con 172 MW; Cañahuecal, con 500 MW, y Seripona, con 420 MW.   FINANCIAMIENTO PARA ROSITAS El ministro de Energía, Rafael Alarcón, informó ayer que el estudio a diseño final de Rositas está concluido y que ahora se trabaja en la gestión del financiamiento para su puesta en marcha. La inversión prevista para este proyecto es de 1.000 millones de dólares y será financiado por el Eximbang. Por su parte, el presidente de ENDE, Eduardo Paz, informó que el proceso de socialización para la construcción de Rositas se lleva a cabo con 1.700 personas que forman parte de las comunidades afectadas. “Estamos explicando las características del proyecto, el estado en el que está cada uno de los aspectos sociales, ambientales y técnicos del proyecto”, añadió. Respecto a la compensación a las personas afectadas, Paz indicó que se hará un estudio a detalle de la población comprometida a la que se resarcirá económicamente u otorgándole un terreno en otro lugar. Paz agregó que también se considerarán todas las alternativas de compensación. Leer noticiahttp://www.lostiempos.com/actualidad/economia/20170623/estudian-7-hidro…
Read more...

Unexamined synergies: dam building and mining go together in the Amazon (Mongabay)

Palabras clave: Brasil - represas -Amazonía - Río Xingu - Belo Monte - maldición de los recursos Zoe Sullivan (Mongabay) 22.06.2017: In the late 1970s, Raimunda Gomes da Silva and her husband, João Pereira da Silva, moved to Tucuruí in Pará state. João went to work on the dam being built there. With the money he earned, the couple bought a plot of land and built a home. “This same money that we bought with the dam, the dam took back,” Raimunda told Mongabay during an interview in Altamira. “Our land was flooded. Our house was flooded. So we left Tucurui and, in the 90s, landed on the island.” The island Raimunda refers to lies in the Xingu River, also in Pará state. While it offered the couple a safe haven for some twenty years, another big hydroelectric dam, Belo Monte, forced them out. This time, João suffered a stroke, which Raimunda says turned him from her husband into a child. Tragic stories of displacement and loss like this one are fairly common in the Brazilian Amazon as new dams are built. But what is little mentioned in the retelling is the intimate relationship between the hydropower boom and a thriving mining industry with its hunger for thousands of megawatts of generating capacity. Some 40 new dams with generating capacities of more than 30 megawatts (MW) are slated for the Brazilian Amazon over the next twenty years. Meanwhile the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s National Mining Plan 2030 calls Amazonia “the current frontier of expansion for mining in Brazil, which sparks optimism and, at the same time, concerns.” Victims of mining expansion One of the central concerns identified by Brazil’s mining plan is the clash between land use and occupation (such as that experienced by Raimunda and João). Conflicts arise over widely divergent views regarding development, where the lives and livelihoods of indigenous and traditional inhabitants collide with the interests of large, export-driven, capital-intensive mega-mining and dam projects designed by corporations and supported by the government. Raimunda and João’s lives were upended twice by the mining industry’s energy demands. The link was explicit with the Tucurui dam, built on the Tocantins River primarily to power nearby aluminum production facilities. According to 1987 projections by Electronorte made three years after the dam was completed, 49.9 percent of Tucurui´s energy was destined for aluminum and alumina production at Albrás in Bacarena and Alumar in São Luis, Maranhão. Likewise with the couple’s relocation from the island on the Xingu River. Canadian gold mining firm Belo Sun plans to open the largest gold mine in Brazil adjacent to the new Belo Monte dam. The firm´s website claims more than a million ounces of gold can be garnered from the mine and that its energy will come directly from a substation at Belo Monte. Still, the website indicates there is only about 1 gram of gold per ton. According to mining engineer Juan Doblas, who works with the environmental advocacy group Instituto SocioAmbiental (ISA), without the dam’s energy, the mine wouldn’t be feasible. Tracing mining energy use on the grid With the introduction in 1995 of Brazil´s National Interconnected System (SIN) electrical transmission grid, it has become harder to pinpoint the direct relationship between a specific new dam and foundries. Philip Fearnside, a researcher who focuses on Brazilian hydropower dams and climate change, described the change to Mongabay. “Before, with Tucuruí, there was a special transmission line that was straight from there. Two of them: one to [Albrás] and one to Alumar. Whereas now it’s all mixed in the SIN.” Still, residents along the Tapajós River are highly suspicious concerning the true purpose behind the controversial São Luiz de Tapajós mega-dam. Many believe its 10,000 MW of generating power were destined for the nearby Jurutí bauxite mine to make aluminum for export. Environmental activists, indigenous communities and traditional riverside dwellers in the Tapajós River basin recently fought successfully to halt construction of São Luiz de Tapajós. IBAMA, Brazil´s environmental regulatory agency, archived the project last year. Nonetheless, opponents are concerned that the government could re-start the project any time. Interviewed shortly after IBAMA´s decision last year, Cacique Juarez Saw Munduruku of the Sawré Muybu indigenous community, told Mongabay he wasn´t resting easy. “I worry a little. I worry because I don’t believe in the Brazilian government. They could appeal the decision on the licensing to re-start the studies. That’s my concern. So that’s why we can’t stop fighting. We’re going to keep fighting until the government abandons building anywhere on the Tapajós because the Tapajós is part of the Munduruku.” A spokesperson for Alcoa, which operates the Jurutí mine, countered that producing energy at the São Luiz de Tapajós dam wouldn’t necessarily benefit them. “From the energy perspective, Juruti’s connection to the grid depends on transmission infrastructure, not on new generation.” Though SIN has erased the obvious one-to-one link between a particular dam and a particular mine, that doesn’t diminish the mining industry’s urgent need for energy, which can be met by Amazon hydropower. The Pará state Mining Plan 2013-2030 issued by the Secretary of Economic Development, Mining and Energy makes clear that a lack of affordable energy stands in the way of attracting new investments. The plan affirms that a lack of energy “represents a significant challenge to the growth of the state’s industrial chain,” which ultimately “threatens the aluminum industry itself in Brazil.” Amazonian mineral wealth The northern Brazilian state of Pará, traversed by the lower Amazon River and major tributaries including the Tapajós and Xingu rivers, is one of Brazil´s leading mineral producers. It also illustrates Brazil´s mineral wealth. The state´s Secretary of Economic Development, Mining and Energy (SEDEME) told Mongabay that the mining sector makes up two-thirds of Pará´s exports and accounts for 13 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product. An overwhelming 85 percent of Brazil´s total bauxite originates in Pará, SEDEME told Mongabay. Bauxite is the essential ore needed in the highly energy-intensive process for making aluminum. Alcoa has been operating the Jurutí mine on the western edge of Pará state since 2006. Jurutí sits atop what some estimate to be the largest bauxite deposit in the world. Lucio Flavio Pinto, a recognized journalist from the region, estimates that its three strata layers hold 700 million tons of bauxite. Alcoa says there are 21.1 million bone-dry metric tons (bdmt) there. The company’s website notes that Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC) has contracts for its bauxite with customers in China, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and the company estimates the value of these 2017 third-party supply agreements at nearly $665 million. Bauxite is Brazil´s second-largest mineral export, with 10.4 million tons sent abroad in 2016. Manganese is third with two million tons. In terms of market value, however, gold is Brazil’s second most important mineral. Gold exports in 2016 were valued at US $2.89 billion. Iron ore is Brazil’s largest mineral export, although price slumps halved its value from nearly US $26 billion in 2014 to just over US $13 billion in 2016. Still, the amounts mined stayed relatively stable, increasing from 344 million tons in 2014 to 373.9 million tons in 2016. Minerals such as these are critical to the world economy and ubiquitous to daily life. People across the world use aluminum in cell phones, bicycles and cars, for example. And the power from hydroelectric dams ensures that refrigerators, lights and air conditioning keep running. Still, Brazil’s citizens and environment pay for the country’s commitment to large-scale mining — and for its lack of commitment to safety and stewardship. For example, the country’s largest-ever environmental disaster occurred in 2015, when the Fundão iron mine tailings dam failed in Minas Gerais. The dam collapse killed 19 people and impacted 1.6 million people in the region. Its failure poured 50 million tons of ore and toxic waste into Brazil’s Doce River, polluting the stream and croplands, killing fish and wildlife. It also contaminated drinking water with toxic sludge for the river’s 853-kilometer (530 mile) length. People in Pará worry because the same technology is now being proposed to store waste from Belo Sun´s proposed gold mine near the Belo Monte dam. Similarly, Alcoa’s Jurutí mine has been controversial since its inception, and has seen public mobilization and protests against its negative social and environmental impacts, such as water pollution. The Tucuruí dam, which was built before Brazil passed a law requiring environmental impact assessments prior to construction, eliminated 1,783 square kilometers (688 square miles) of forested land, displaced indigenous and traditional riverside dwellers, and damaged fisheries. Fearnside argues that since so much power from the dam was committed to aluminum production, other dams had to be built to provide electricity to cities in the region. Further, like other dams in the tropics, rotting vegetation in the reservoir produces methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. These impacts, he wrote, can only be properly assessed once it´s clear who benefits from a dam. “Unfortunately, this did not occur in the case of Tucuruí, which mainly benefits multinational aluminum companies.” The ongoing marriage of mining and dams The relationship between mining and hydropower is easily explained: the mining and processing of metals, particularly aluminum, requires vast amounts of electricity. Fearnside reports that fifty percent of Alcoa´s overhead at its Albrás and Alumar facilities stem from energy costs, that’s according to a statement by the company´s Latin America and the Caribbean Director at the 2010 International Aluminum Conference in São Paulo, Brazil. However, the abundance of rivers in the Amazon basin combined with the region’s impressive mineral wealth, have made it attractive for planners to think strategically about supplying the energy for processing ore through hydropower. The hitch, according to Doblas, is that little heed is being paid to the environmental and social consequences of this strategy. “The truth is that installing a hydropower dam provokes the installation of mining projects. This never, or extremely rarely, is integrated into the licensing process as a synergetic effect.” In Ocekadi, a book published by International Rivers last year, Daniela Fernandes Alarcon, Maurcio Torres and Natalia Ribas Guerrero highlight the financial interests — including mining — behind the infrastructure plans in the Tapajós region, pointing to evidence in Brazil´s media. For example, In 2011, the Folha de São Paulo, one of Brazil´s most respected newspapers, reported on a round of investment aimed at the Amazon region, and concluded that: “the electricity sector is the driving force behind this investment.” The report described plans for hydroelectric dams such as Belo Monte on the Xingu River, Santo Antonio on the Teles Pires River and the São Luiz de Tapajós project. It said that these dams should produce a 13-percent increase in energy from the region and thus “[become] one of the engines for growth.” The Amazon basin, and Pará state in particular, offer several clear examples of mines associated with hydropower projects. Besides the Tucuruí dam and the foundries in Bacarena and São Luis, there is also the bauxite mine at Paragominas which the Norwegian firm Hydro acquired from Alcoa last year. Although not active yet, the Belo Sun gold mine would take advantage of the Belo Monte dam´s power supply. Itaituba is a small city on the Tapajós River that has been a hub for the gold mining industry since the 1980s. Mongabay reached out to members of Itaituba’s Chamber of Commerce to get their perspective on the benefits of mining and dams to the region, but they declined to comment. Generally, proposed Amazon hydropower dams are dissociated from the mining they will support. The 2,350 MW Cachoeira Porteira dam, for example, was first proposed in the 1980s as an alternative power supply for the city of Manaus and has yet to be built. But the prospective location is in Pará on the Trombetas River near Cruz Alta, home to a large bauxite deposit that Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN) aims to begin mining in 2022. Complicating matters, the bauxite lies underneath land claimed by a quilombola, a community of the descendants of escaped slaves. The slow titling process which would give a land deed to the community, and the proximity of the mining interests offer an example of simmering land rights tensions in the region. MRN is a consortium made of up mining companies including Vale, Alcoa, BHP Billiton, RioTintoAlcan, CBA, and the Norwegian firm Hydro. A spokesperson for MRN said that the company has no relationship with the Cachoeira Porteira dam project or any other hydroelectric dam along the Trombetas River. He also said: “There are no conflicts between MRN and quilombola communities that seek land titling.” Yet Lúcia Andrade of the Pro-Indian Commission disputed this. “Since 2013, MRN has been expanding its extraction area inside the quilombola territories. Now, in April 2017, MRN requested a preliminary license to expand mining even further onto Quilombola land.” For Doblas, the idea that MRN has no interest in the Cachoiera Porteira dam is laughable. “The mining companies aren’t paying for these projects directly. They’re not lobbying for these projects. But they will benefit, and these projects will facilitate the arrival of more mining.” Dams are just one element in a growing infrastructure web in the Amazon. New roads, railway lines and shipping canals, facilitated by locks associated with dams, are being planned in the Tapajós basin and elsewhere to cheaply transport commodities. For Greenpeace´s Danicley Aguiar, this development is taking place without prioritizing the interests and needs of the region´s most vulnerable: “You have a construction boom, and you get a surge in job opportunities and what-not, but once the project is done, the only winners are short-term interests.” Industry lobbies government Interests such as mining and agribusiness make their influence felt in Brasilía. Aluminum exporters, for example, have been given large breaks on their energy costs, and they pay a lower tax rate than companies that produce for the domestic market. Corporate profitability, for example, was guaranteed to Albrás in the final years of Brazil´s dictatorship. At the time, the government granted Albrás a 20-year energy contract that guaranteed the price of electricity wouldn´t exceed 20 percent of the global price of aluminum, ensuring ongoing profits. Fearnside reports that the contract was renewed in 2004 with substantial new subsidies. Norwegian firm Hydro is now the majority shareholder in Albrás, along with a consortium of Japanese companies. Aluminum exports are likewise exempt from the country’s main tax, ICMS, (Imposto sobre Circulação de Mercadorias e Serviços – Tax on Circulation of Merchandise and Services). Since aluminum produced in the Amazon is mainly for export, this has a significant impact. Fearnside says that Albrás and Alumar pay roughly 8 percent in taxes once incentives and other benefits are taken into consideration. Their colleagues in the southern part of the country, producing for the domestic market, pay a 20 percent tax rate. This corporate welfare impacts competitiveness, giving exporters a serious advantage. “Our raw materials leave without paying taxes, so we are still like a colony from the early times of our history,” Eduardo Costa told Mongabay. Costa is a physician and has been a conservative member of Pará´s state legislature since 2002. He argues that Brazil’s Kandir law, which would allow states to tax unfinished goods, needs to be implemented urgently. Since only finished goods are taxed, Costa says, the state is losing out on a significant potential stream of revenue because both ore and the energy produced by hydropower dams leaves the state untaxed. “Neither mining, which the Kandir law [neglects] and has been costing the state for years, nor our own energy production generate dividends for the state,” he told Mongabay. At the same time, he said, dams and other projects have social impacts. “There are areas of misery that were created by these mega-projects,” Costa told Mongabay, describing the dramatic increase in violence in Altamira since the construction of the nearby Belo Monte dam. While some companies benefit, Brazil accumulates a series of financial, social and environmental impacts. In 2013, Brazil exported aluminum bars worth US $789.9 million, generating US $63.2 million in tax income, a figure Fearnside´s book calls “miniscule in comparison to the financial cost and the damages inflicted by the hydroelectric dams that are behind the industry.” He argues as well that substantial government subsidies for export-oriented industries end up undercutting the power of domestically-focused industries. This has shifted the balance of political influence to exporters through a feedback loop that means they are likely to see more policies enacted that benefit them, such as dam, canal and railway construction. The resource curse Raimunda and João´s story brings the human impact of mining and dam construction into focus. It is also an example of the “resource curse” — a phenomenon in which many of the world’s most mineral-wealthy countries nonetheless report staggering levels of poverty and inequality. Experiences like those of Raimunda and João are the focus for Daniel Rondinelli Roquetti´s doctoral research at the University of São Paulo. He is studying the lifestyle changes faced by people who have been displaced by hydropower dams. “Brazil generally exports people’s lives in aluminum bars,” he says. “There are a series of impacts in terms of human rights and environmental damage.” These impacts, Roquetti argues, don’t figure into costs the country shoulders to produce aluminum. Before the Belo Monte dam was built, Raimunda and João split their time between their island home where they fished, gathered fruit, and planted vegetables; and a city home that gave them access to markets to sell their produce. Their city home was a humble place in an informal community next to the river´s edge, minutes from central Altamira. The community flooded seasonally, yet was vibrant with fisherfolk and other families. Now the couple lives in a cinder block house in a resettlement community four kilometers from the river. Since there´s no public transportation, Raimunda must pay for a motorbike taxi to get from the house to the city center. The informal social network the couple once enjoyed has been disrupted because all the riverside families have been displaced. In the shady gap between their cinder block house and the concrete wall surrounding it live Raimunda’s tortoises. She feeds them tomatoes and other vegetables. She also identifies with them. “I’ve promised not to eat them,” she explains. Once she and João can return to their island, Raimunda has promised to free the creatures. “I’m going to live where I like, and they’re going to live where they need to be.” Lea la noticia en: https://news.mongabay.com/2017/06/unexamined-synergies-dam-building-and…
Read more...

Agencia Francesa para el desarrollo financia proyecto solar en Bolivia con 11,5 millones de euros (15-06-2017)

Palabras clave: planta fotovoltaica- energías renovables- Oruro Emiliano Bellini. PV Magazine. 15-06-2017: Una donación de la agencia francesa contribuirá a la realización de una planta fotovoltaica de 50 megavatios en Oruro. La Ministra de Planificación del Desarrollo de Bolivia, Mariana Prado, ha firmado en París un acuerdo de donación con la Agencia Francesa para el Desarrollo (AFD), que prevé que la agencia financie el proyecto fotovoltaico de 50 megavatios en Oruro con 11,5 millones de euros. La inversión para el proyecto que se ubicará en Caracollo se ha estimado en 43 millones de dólares estadounidenses. La finalización de la central y su conexión a la red están previstas para 2018. El gobierno de Bolivia y la AFD habían firmado un memorándum de entendimiento sobre la financiación en 2015. Los fondos serán utilizados para gestionar los recursos provenientes del Fondo LAIF (Latin American Investment Facility) de la Unión Europea, dijo el ministerio en una nota de prensa. A principios de junio, la empresa eléctrica boliviana Ende anunció que 16 empresas presentaron ofertas para la construcción del proyecto Planta Solar Fotovoltaica Oruro. Ende convocó la licitación para el proyecto en abril de 2016. En concreto, se licitó el diseño, suministro y construcción de la Planta Solar Fotovoltaica Oruro de 50 megavatios. Está previsto que el proyecto se realice en varias etapas y alcance posteriormente una potencia total de 100 megavatios. Leer noticia: https://www.pv-magazine-latam.com/2017/06/15/agencia-francesa-para-el-d…
Read more...

Billion-dollar dams are making water shortages, not solving them (15-06-2017)

Palabras clave: impact of dams - water scarcity- climate change  Fred Pearce (New Scientist) 17.06-2017: Dams are supposed to collect water from rivers and redistribute it to alleviate water shortages, right? Not so fast. It turns out that in most cases they actually create water scarcity, especially for people living downstream. Almost a quarter of the global population experiences significant decreases in water availability through human interventions on rivers, says Ted Veldkamp at Vrije University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Those interventions primarily involve dams that take water for irrigation or cities, or to generate hydroelectricity. Winners and losers To investigate the impact of dams on communities, Veldkamp and her colleagues created a detailed modelling study that divided the world into 50-kilometre squares. They used this to assess water scarcity between 1971 and 2010, so they could identify the hydrological winners and losers from dam interventions. The world has spent an estimated $2 trillion on dams in recent decades. But Veldkamp’s startling conclusion is that the activity has left 23 per cent of the global population with less water, compared with only 20 per cent who have gained. “Water scarcity is rapidly increasing in many regions,” says Veldkamp.  A recent study put the number of people living in areas of such scarcity for at least one month a year at 4 billion. Many blame climate change, but that emerges as only a small element in the new study. Shifting resources Large rivers in which upstream dam activity has led to water shortages downstream include the Yellow River in arid northern China; the Ganges, where upstream activity in India has damaged livelihoods in downstream Bangladesh; the Euphrates, where Turkish dams cause drought in Iraq; and the Colorado River, where US abstractions leave little water for Mexico. Richard Taylor, CEO of the UK-based International Hydropower Association, which represents many dam builders, dismissed the findings. “The major driver of building a reservoir is to store fresh water so as to smooth the irregularity of natural flows, absorb floods and guarantee minimum flows during drought periods,” he says. “These fundamental services are exclusively downstream benefits.” Yet the study finds that the worst impacts of dams happen in months with the highest pressure on water resources. Veldkamp says dams also increase the average duration of water-scarcity events. Under pressure Many nations see dams as an important way to fight climate change – both by diverting water to alleviate shortages and by generating low-carbon hydroelectricity to replace power stations that burn fossil fuel. “In most parts of the world, water storage will be fundamental to the viability of human livelihoods,” says Taylor. But Veldkamp’s findings suggest that, whatever the intention, collecting more water behind dams often aggravates shortages. Building more dams “might mitigate tomorrow’s climate change impacts for a certain group of people whilst putting others under pressure today,” she says. Journal reference: Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15697   Lea la  noticia: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2134785-billion-dollar-dams-are-ma…
Read more...