China eyes mechanism for distributing profit from hydroelectric dams

It will share the benefits of dam development to migrants, locations, and enterprises, it said.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) plans to establish a long-term mechanism for “sharing the benefits” of the development of hydroelectric dams amongst migrants, locations, and enterprises, Reuters reports.

Though considered a form of clean energy, hydropower in China has been controversial, with some of the country’s largest projects blamed for causing large-scale environmental damage and social disruption, mostly in the southwest.

NDRC promised to improve the distribution of income and ensure that projects contribute to local economic and social development as well as poverty alleviation.

With much of China’s remaining hydropower potential located in remote ethnic minority regions in Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan, it also promised to better respect the customs and religions of local communities.

China’s total hydropower capacity hit 350GW last year, accounting for a fifth of total generation, but its reliance on large and disruptive dam projects has been controversial.

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