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Life Cycle Assessment of a Small Hydropower Plant in the Brazilian Amazon

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 379-391
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.2016.04.0029
Marla T. B. Geller1 , Anderson A. D. M. Meneses1,2
1 Postgraduate Program in Society, Nature and Development, Federal University of Western Pará, Av. Mal. Rondon, Caranazal, Santarém, Brazil
2 Institute of Geosciences and Engineering, Federal University of Western Pará, Av. Mal. Rondon, Caranazal, Santarém, Brazil

Brazil as well as the rest of the world, faces a major challenge related to the electricity sector, to meet the growing demand with energy production from renewable sources. Many hydroelectric plants are being implemented, especially in the northern region of Brazil, but its environmental impacts are yet unknown. Energy produced by hydropower plants has been considered totally renewable and clean, but more recent studies describe analysis pointing to the existence of emissions by hydroelectric plants, especially if a lifecycle approach is considered. Thus, the objective of this study is the investigation of environmental impacts of the construction, operation and decommissioning of a hydroelectric power station based on life cycle assessment. The main focus is the Curuá-Una hydropower plant that is located in the Amazon forest in northern Brazil, in Santarém municipality (Pará state).

Keywords: Curuá-Una hydropower plant, Amazon rainforest, Life cycle assessment, Environmental impact.

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