ERG Alumni Deshmukh, Mileva, and Wu Explore Renewable Alternatives to Mega Hydropower

ERG alumni Ranjit Deshmukh, Ana Mileva, and Grace Wu recently published their research on alternatives to the hydroelectric power Inga III Dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The team explores the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of possible renewable energy options, which offer lower economic, social, and environmental risks.

“Given these [environmental and social] shortcomings, developing countries with persistent energy supply shortages and limited access to capital should consider and thoroughly weigh alternatives to the hydropower-expansion paradigm, particularly with regards to economic risk. Recent cost declines for solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind generation technologies (Bischof-Niemz 2015, Wiser and Bolinger 2016) may make these resources economically competitive with new hydropower generation. In this study, we investigate, from a systems perspective, whether wind and solar PV can be cost-effective low-carbon alternatives to new large hydropower projects. Specifically, we examine the case of the 4800 MW Inga 3 hydropower project proposed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).”

The article has been supported by grants from UC Berkeley and the International Rivers organization.

Read the full report here.