CNN: Hydroelectric Power in Georgia

Posted on July 3, 2012 by

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CNN did another special feature on Georgia (they seem to do one every year…) and I am embarrassed to say that I only got 7 out of 10 of their quiz questions right this time around. Here’s the promo:

This time the series comes with a bunch of really interesting videos, all on YouTube, as well as a set of “ireports” contributed by CNN’s audience and voted on at the website.

Of course, on the heels of my recent post about hydroelectric power plants and dams and reservoirs, the video that caught my eye was this one:

The dam featured in this video is the Inguri Dam, which is huge (the highest concrete arch dam in the world) and which apparently was placed on the Inguri river to minimize the negative environmental consequences. It makes me want to go and see it – in fact, now that my interest is sparked, I almost want to go on a tour of Georgia’s dams.

According to this video, however, that’s about to get twice as hard, since Georgia is going to double its hydroelectric power output and add 15 new dams to do it.

Currently, Georgia makes almost all of its own electric power. Doubling output would allow Georgia to be an exporter of (clean) energy – a great position to be in given the state of the energy market and the world energy economy right now. Fossil fuels are getting harder to find and extract and current supplies are dwindling. In other words, it’s not a matter of whether fossil fuel energy will continue to support humanity in the future – it’s just a matter of how much time we have left. After that, countries like Georgia, who have the jump on renewable/sustainable energy, will be in an enviable position.

Hydroelectric power wealth could be the next oil wealth.

That’s why it’s good that Georgia is getting the jump on it now, and why foreign investors, like Sinohydro, are getting involved in the market. Americans should be probably be concerned that China is investing in clean energy and America is spending most of its money on scraping for the last little bits of fossil fuel left in the planet, and… well, I was about to start a sentence with “if I were an American”, but I’ve already put my money where my mouth is and started investing (what little I can spare) in Georgia.

Anyway, I encourage you to browse CNN’s coverage – it’s quite good, overall.

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