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World’s Largest Power Plant Hydro Dam Grand Inga 39 GW in Congo Depends on Inga 3 Design Choices

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Hydro Power is second largest source of electricity in the world accounting for roughly 20% of the worldwide demand of electricity with around 800 GW of capacity installed.There is considerable potential still left and developing countries  can be expected to install another 500 GW over the coming years.There is large unmet potential for generating cheap hydro power in Africa,India and China.Note most of the hydro power potential has already been tapped in developed countries of Europe and USA.Like other forms of  renewable energy,Hydro Power has its pros and cons.However if done correctly,the Advantages of Hydro Power easily overcome the Disadvantages making it  the best form of non-polluting power currently.

Note the Cost of Hydropower at $1-3/watt are in a wide band and if not planned and implemented correctly can lead to huge time and cost escalation.The Inga 3 Dam being proposed to be built on the Congo River in the DRC faces tough choices.The Hydro Dam on the Congo which will become the biggest hydro power project in Africa is wrestling over design issues.The major choice is between tunneling through rock structures or keeping open channels.Note the total cost of the 7 GW Power Plant will be around $14 billion making it the biggest investment in Congo and the 5th largest Hydro Power Plant in the world.Note Africa suffers from chronic power shortages which will become more acute with rising cots of fossil fuels and increasing per capita electricity demands.Making correct decisions on energy is vitally important for the development of the African continent.China is the country with the largest hydro power capacity at 200 GW which it wants to further increase to a massive 400 GW by 2020.

Note Grand Inga at 39000 MW is also being planned which would make it the world’s largest power plant in the world by far easily eclipsing the the famous Three Gorges Dam in China at 22.5 GW.Note like other large hydro power projects,Grand Inga has also faced criticism as small hydro power projects don’t have the disadvantages of the massive dams.The Grand Inga project will supply power to large swathes of southern Africa which will have their electricity grids connected .Most of the global financial institutions like World Bank,African Development Bank have interest in the project estmated to cost $80 billion.Note if there are massive cost and time overruns on Inga 3,then the implementation of Grand Inga which will be almost 6 times as large will become questionable.The success of Inga 3 is vitally important to the success of Grand Inga.Note there are already 2 hydro dams Inga 1 and Inga 2 generating 1800 MW.


Abhishek Shah

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  1. Cisal

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