Model Question and Answers for APSC | What are the possible effects of large scale hydro-electric projects on the environment? Write a critical note on possibilities of medium and small scale projects in place of large ones? (APSC Mains- 2020)

Model Question and Answers for APSC | What are the possible effects of large scale hydro-electric projects on the environment? Write a critical note on possibilities of medium and small scale projects in place of large ones? (APSC Mains- 2020)

Ans : Hydroelectricity is technically a “clean” energy source, but there are environmental ramifications of harnessing it for large amounts of power. Here are a few of the consequences that come with developing hydropower systems:
1. Damage to wildlife habitats and migratory paths
2. Leads to deforestation, flooding and displacement of people from agricultural lands
3. Greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs
4. Downstream sediment loss which affects deltas and mangroves
Solution: Medium to small hydro projects
1. No large scale destruction of forest and agricultural lands and displacement of people
2. Run of the river projects can be sustainable alternatives
However there are some challenges still 

1. Even small hydro projects are dangerous in Mountain regions as shown by Uttarakhand flash Flood in 2021
2. Hydropower projects, which use large-scale blasting, tree felling and tunnelling, most certainly added to the proportion of the impact of flash floods. They became a force multiplier in the destruction.
However, newer ways to harness power from water continue to be developed, such as tidal power and wave energy, tend to have a smaller environmental footprint than traditional storage hydropower systems.