The second largest hydro-electric dam, named the Baihetan Dam, has had two of its generating units activated yesterday i.e. 28 June. The dam is built upon the Jihan river and s part of China’s massive dam construction program. The Three Gorges, by far the largest dam in the world, is also situated in China.
Regarding the specifications of the Baihetan Dam; it is to operate 16 power generating units with the capacity of 1 million kilowatts each. In comparison, the Three Gorges Dam has a total capacity of 22.5 million kilowatts, provided by 32 generators. The Baihetan Dam is 277 meters high while the Three Gorges has a height of 181 meters. Although, the latter has a much higher capacity thanks to its length, which stretches on for 2,300 meters.
The Three Gorges Group Corporation is responsible for the construction and running of both the dams. The corporation is owned by the Chinese government and is considered the most prolific investor of hydro, solar, and wind power.
Hydro-electricity is getting more and more unpopular because of the environmental issues caused by it. Additionally, dams can also result in flooding of nearby regions and can disrupt the local flora and fauna. While other countries switch to alternate sources of energy, China’s reliance on them continues to grow as part of an effort to reduce consumption and import of fossil fuels. According to state media, coal consumption will be decreased by nearly 20 million tons once the Baihetan Dam is fully opertaional.