Hydro-power Dams – Rethink

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Thailand has rapidly experienced the
growing demand of electricity over 50% in the past decade do we ever realize how much we consume electricity per day? every single day we charge our phone
laptop and use Internet we watch TV, use fan use air-condition hot shower
and washing machine Do you think that is all we consume? How about street lights? Traffic lights Hospital Shopping mall Airport and even
small convenience store like 7-Eleven these services provide us lots of
electric energy for our convenient Every cities in the world need a lot of energy to function the city and become our efficiency of our daily life apart from the second capital city of Yangon in Myanmar but in Thailand we have high demand of
electricity and we need to consider fuel diversification because we cannot rely
on one type of source and why don’t we heard about this from the public opinion? because these people they purchased and they consume this electricity does it sound not interesting to you? so in next you will see how much your energy is cost and where does it come from and how does it impact to our society and environment so let’s see so before wetalk about electricity in Chiang Mai we would like to introduce briefly about
electricity in Thailand so Thailand electricity was introduced by Surah Phraya Sakdi Montri he was the one who purchased two electric generator from
Britain and started electricity utility there are fifteen power plants and fifteen dams and nine hydro-power plants in Thailand however now we are only going to talk
about where all electricity from Chiang Mai come from Mae Moh power plant Mae Moh power plant is located at Mae Moh district Lamphang province it provides 50% of
electricity for Chiang Mai Fang geothermal plant it is located at Fang in Chiang Mai it distribute 300 kilowatt to provincial electricity authority in Chiang Mai San Kampheng solar power plant it is located at San Kampheng in Chiang Mai and electricity generating authority of Thailand install 14 kilowatt solar cell from the solar power plant Mae Ngat Dam it is located at Mae Tang district of Chiang Mai province it also contribute 29 million unit of electricity per year This is Mae Ngat Dam as you see here the dam is very big and it can store a large capacity of water so the dam is know as one of the main electricity providing dam to the city of Chiang Mai the dam was constructed in 1977 and completely finished in 1987 the dam is 59 meter high and 1900 meter long in one year the dam can provide 29 million units the construction costs around 1,190 million baht so you see it is very expensive as the dam holding a large capacity of water the local community living in downstream are worried every day and they fear that the dam will collapse especially when the natural disaster come For example, during earthquake hit Chiang Rai Province hundreds of local people who live in down stream moved away from this area because they are worry that the dam will be collapsed These are the local communities live in the downstream of Mae Ngat Dam we can imagine how those people will be scared at that time To make a clear picture, let’s see how the dam can impact to the local community when it collapsed To help us understand the bigger picture we will look at the impacts of hydropower developments in Mekong River For many years, the Mekong river system has been identified valuable source of hydro electricity
generation it estimate that the river has the potential to generate 30 thousand megawatt of electricity for the region today in the Mekong river has become a
key site for hydropower development as we have observed there are four operational dams in upper Mekong river which are a China and more new dams are under construction more recently 11 maga dams has been
proposed in lower Mekong river particular in Cambodia and Laos all these dams are expected to complete by 2030 so what are the drivers of the hydropower
development There are many reasons that have encouraged plans to build numerous dams on Mekong River For example, rapid economic growth and population that increase demand for electricity unstable energy prices in international markets and the concerns over carbon emissions These have encouraged government to find alternative energy and also to use mixed energy in order to reduce dependency what are the externalities of the hydropower development? even though hydropower presents great economic and energy gains there are also many concerns over the potential impacts on the environment fisheries and people livelihoods in the Lower Mekong Basin the construction of the dam caused change in many flows this flow includes, water system, fish migration, and people movement and the change in water flow also leads to change in climate pattern change in climate pattern caused natural disaster such as flooding and drought flooding and drought often displaced people and create poverty there has been a decline in species such as birds, fishes, and plants These impacts have created a major threat to the livelihoods and drag the Mekong environment to a state of uncertainty. This kind of environment, social, and economic impact are not just internal or happen within a single country or area. It leads to what we called “transboundary impacts” according to the Guardian, the collapse of the dam led to at least 26 people death and displaced more than 6,000 families in Laos. These people, many of them lost their lands, houses, animals, and agricultural products Beside Laos, Cambodia also suffered from the disaster CNN reported that more than 20,000 people in Cambodia became homeless due to the rising water and leaving entire homes underwater The authorities and agencies had to rush in order to evacuate the flood victims the way we generate electricity cause many damage to our environment hydropower electricity generation is
considered as one of the more environmentally friendly way of
electricity generation however it still does a lot of damage to the environment and people’s livelihood I can tell you to save electricity but how big of a difference would it make? you can unplug when your electronic device fully charged you can turn off the AC when the weather
outside is not so bad and you can use electricity only when necessary we try to fix our problems with ways
that we can think of we can reuse reduce and recycle to take care of our environment but there’s one thing that we are missing rethink we need to rethink this whole mess our current way of modern society fixing alone wouldn’t work if we are headed to the wrong direction we need to restart and to be able to restart we need to rethink

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