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 Hydroelectricity TagsGHGenius 4.03
 Hydroelectricity Emission Review
 Prepared March 2013
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Hydroelectricity provides about 60% of Canada’s electricity. It is known that there is some methane that is generated from decomposing biomass in the flooded reservoirs behind the dams. The estimate of the rate of methane production currently in GHGenius is from a single reference in the original Delucchi LEM model.

Recently there has been significant work undertaken in this area. There are some estimates in the National GHG Inventory report but the academic literature has been quite active in this area. This report summarizes the findings from a literature review of the subject.

There is a wide range of GHG emission estimates for hydroelectric reservoirs in the literature. There are several common themes in many of the papers, reports, and regulatory filings:
1. It would appear that there is some consensus that emissions are higher in tropical climates than temperate or boreal climates.
2. Measured real world emissions appear to be higher than the emission estimates from the forecast in the Environmental Impact Statements for projects.
3. The emissions of both carbon dioxide and to a lesser degree methane vary with time. Emissions are highest immediately after flooding and decay over time. The documented rates of reduction vary significantly.
4. The quantity and quality of the reports studying these emissions is increasing with time. Some of the newest, most detailed reports are finding emissions much higher than earlier studies have found.

Tags: GHGenius 4.03 - Hydroelectricity
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