3 Reasons Hydropower is Not Green Energy

From high greenhouse gas emissions to biodiversity destruction it’s a detrimental source of energy

Berna A.
5 min readMay 13, 2024
Photo by Tahamie Farooqui on Unsplash

We now see multiple marketing campaigns touting hydropower as green energy. Many companies, agencies, cities, and countries aim to meet their carbon targets by using and building more hydropower dams to supply their energy. Unfortunately, this claim is scientifically proven to be false as hydropower dams are one of the most environmentally detrimental energy sources available.

Dam GHG Emissions

Since carbon has become almost synonymous with “climate change” and “global warming,” leaders and politicians get away with promoting other, even more harmful, greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is at least 40 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, especially in the short term. Hydropower dams and reservoirs are responsible for major methane emissions due to the decomposition of organic matter that gets stuck in oxygen-deprived conditions at the bottom of the reservoirs.

In 2020, dam reservoirs made up 5.2% of methane emissions according to a study conducted by scientists at the University of Quebec (UQAM). Most internationally recognized conservation organizations including International Rivers, Intergovernmental…

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Berna A.

Ocean Actionist. Circular Economy Consultant. Sustainability, Business, and Nature Speaker. Nature Photographer.