Underutilization of hydropower
Other Names: Underuse of hydroelectricity generation
Nature: By the beginning of the 1980s, 75% of hydropower resources in Europe and North America had been developed, while only a small proportion had been tapped in Oceania, Asia, and especially Africa. Hydropower generation is limited in the industrialized countries by a lack of suitable dam sites and competition for land and water use.
Background: Hydropower is in extensive use in parts of Canada (particularly Quebec), the northwestern USA (Idaho - 100%; Washington - 80%; Oregon - 76%), the Nordic countries (Norway has almost 100% hydropower), and mountainous regions of Asia, Australia and New Zealand and Europe. Roughly 14% of France's power is hydro, Spain's 19%, Italy's 21%, Japan's 11% and the former Soviet Union's 17%.
Counter Claim: Hydropower developments have substantial environmental impacts. Large storage schemes displace settlements; the upheaval and resettlement cause considerable social effects by modifying agricultural and transport patterns and affecting regional health. Small schemes may sometimes increase the incidence of waterborne diseases.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET