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Hydropower lights up the Tropical Andes

As we have seen, climate change will have a significant impact on water flow, thus affecting hydropower generation, which generates the majority of power in the region. In South America as a whole, hydropower generates about 65 percent of electricity (WWDR, 2014). The majority of hydropower facilities are located in the mountains. In the region, Peru is the country most reliant on glacial water also for its hydropower generation. Southern Peru and Bolivia also rely significantly on hydropower and are, in addition to melting glaciers, expected to experience a decrease in precipitation. North-western Peru, Ecuador and Colombia are expected to see an increase in precipitation, which could increase their hydropower generation capacity. For eastern Colombia and Venezuela, on the contrary, reduced precipitation could cause reduced capacity. Drastically changing glaciers, páramos and other ecosystems must also be accounted for in the development of hydropower policies in the futures. This is also true for the increasing proportional demand from other sectors of the economy including the rapidly rising population.

Year: 2016

From collection: Outlook on climate change adaptation in the Tropical Andes mountains

Cartographer: GRID-Arendal and Cartografare il Presente/Riccardo Pravettoni

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