As I’ve been trying to explain for years, researchers have figured out that hydroelectric power isn’t carbon neutral, reports the Seattle Times:
Think hydropower is carbon neutral? You have another think coming, Washington State University researchers have learned.
In their paper to be published next week in BioScience, the researchers reported that reservoirs of all sorts are important sources of the potent greenhouse-gas methane. The gas is produced by decomposing organic material underwater.
While much attention has been paid to the effects of dams on fisheries and the natural form and function of rivers, little notice has been taken of the emissions they cause. Usually thought of as carbon-neutral sources of energy, hydropower dams, while far cleaner than fossil fuel for generating power, nonetheless are sources of carbon pollution.
Reservoirs not only produce methane, but they generate more greenhouse gases than natural lakes, found research associate Bridget Deemer and John Harrison, associate professor of biogeochemistry at WSU Vancouver.
Next thing they’ll be telling us that wind and solar have carbon emissions, too. Just as a for instance when the solar panel you install was made in China (90% of them are) or when the polysilicon used to make your solar panel in China was produced in the U. S. and shipped to China (as much of it is) it drastically increases the carbon footprint of your solar power.