پشت پرده ابرپروژه بزرگ جاه طلبانه در آسیا: تاریخچه و مفاهیم سد برق آبی Bakun در جزیره بورنئو
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10466||2011||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 39, Issue 9, September 2011, Pages 4842–4859
Using a case-study, inductive, narrative approach, this article explores the history, drivers, benefits, and barriers to the Bakun Hydroelectric Project in East Malaysia. Situated on the island of Borneo, Bakun Dam is a 204 m high concrete face, rock filled dam on the Balui River in the Upper Rajang Basin in the rainforests of Sarawak. Bakun Dam and its affiliated infrastructure could be the single largest and most expensive energy project ever undertaken in Southeast Asia. Based on data collected through site visits, original field research in Sarawak, and more than 80 research interviews, the article begins by teasing out the complex history and drivers behind the Bakun project before identifying a set of potential social, political, and economic benefits the project could deliver. It then delves into six sets of barriers in the technical, economic, political, legal and regulatory, social, and environmental realms. We find that Bakun illustrates how centralized energy megaprojects, while ostensibly championed for reasons of economies of scale and the ability to bring about transformational change in the shortest period of time, often fail to address broader development goals such as fighting energy poverty and improving the livelihoods of the local communities they are supposed to serve.
This article explores the dynamics of the Bakun Hydroelectric Project (BHP) in East Malaysia. Situated on the island of Borneo, the BHP is a 204 m high concrete face, rock filled dam on the Balui River in the Upper Rajang Basin in the rainforests of Sarawak. By some metrics, BHP and its affiliated infrastructure could be the single largest and most expensive energy project ever undertaken in Southeast Asia. Based on data collected through site visits, original field research in Sarawak, and more than 80 research interviews, the article begins by teasing out the complex history and drivers behind the Bakun project before identifying a set of possible benefits the project could deliver. It then delves into six sets of challenges the project either had to overcome or still has to overcome. Technical challenges include the unique hydrology of the site, lack of supporting infrastructure in Sarawak, excavation and construction, and shortages of personnel. Economic challenges include cost overruns, financing, settling the power purchase agreement, and community welfare. Political challenges include the cancellation of the undersea cable to Peninsular Malaysia, inadequate planning, corruption and nepotism, and political literacy. Legal and regulatory challenges include a restrictive land code, lack of a national energy policy, lawsuits filed over the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, and a lingering government commitment to fossil fuels. Social challenges include community relocation and resettlement, boom and bust towns from construction, community livelihood, and unfair compensation. Environmental challenges include deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, changes to hydrology and water quality, and aluminum smelting. The article concludes by offering implications for those wishing to promote other large-scale, hydroelectric projects or other energy megaprojects throughout the world. The importance of the article is threefold. First, and most specifically, the Bakun Hydroelectric Project (BHP) is at the cornerstone of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, or SCORE, an ambitious plan to develop dozens of dams to attract energy-intensive industries, create jobs, and grow the economy. Sarawak has 155 potential dam sites and the potential to develop 80,000 MW of hydroelectric capacity with an annual output of 340,000 GWh per year, though commercially achievable potential is closer to 28,000 MW (Sovacool and Bulan, 2011). At the time of writing, the SCORE Master Plan calls for developing up to 51 of these sites into 20,000 MW of capacity that will produce 87,000 GWh per year, with the first 12 of those dams constituting 7000 MW depicted in Table 1 (Suhakam, 2009). In essence, SCORE would increase generating capacity from 966 to 12,000 MW and 20,000 MW by 2020 and 2030, respectively, if all goes as planned. No work in the academic community has yet focused on the full broader implications of Bakun, however, and the most recent research from Choy, 2005a and Choy, 2005b is now more than 6-year old. Furthermore, unlike studies using predominately economic approaches to explore Bakun (and other dams), we rely on a grounded case-study approach that has archival value, for which we have collected primary data directly from indigenous communities. In sum, our piece offers a much-needed update about Bakun, and it is likely that the lessons learned from it will be applicable to the other dams planned for SCORE.Second, and more generally, although hydroelectric dams are one of the oldest forms of generating electricity, they have recently become attractive alternatives to carbon-belching fossil fueled power stations and prohibitively expensive nuclear power units. Wind turbines and solar panels have become iconic symbols of new investments in renewable energy, yet 31 GW of hydroelectric capacity was added in 2009, an increase in capacity second only to wind power among all sources of renewable energy. Fig. 1 also shows how total installed capacity and investments in hydropower dwarfed that of all other major renewable sources of energy. China roughly doubled its hydroelectric capacity from 2004 to 2009 and significant expansion is expected in Brazil, India, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam (REN 21, 2010). Yet despite this investment, 1 billion people still lack adequate supplies of drinking water and accelerated agricultural production has stressed the need for greater irrigation and flood control, creating an intense drive for more dams (Khagram, 2005). Every year about 4 million people are displaced by activities relating to hydroelectricity construction or operation, and 80 million have been displaced in the past 50 years from the construction of 300 large dams (Mamit, 2010 and Jehom, 2008). How hydroelectric facilities are constructed and managed, the strength (or weakness) of environmental and social impact assessments, determines the extent of their social and economic impacts (Swain and Chee, 2004 and Lee, 2002). Our article brings into focus the challenges involved with building large dams, challenges that can help inform the global debate concerning dams and development.Third, and most broadly, to deal with rapidly rising demand for energy, especially in developed countries, policymakers have come to rely more on megaprojects. Megaprojects typically involve large, multi-billion dollar forms of capital intensive infrastructure such as dams, pipelines, nuclear power plants, and interstate electricity transmission networks. Driving forces behind energy megaprojects include perceived economies of scale, the stockpiling of resources, the crafting of multilateral consortiums to achieve synergies, and engendering a sense of shared vulnerability to the risk of accidents and disruptions that can promote “coordination and cooperation” (Sovacool, 2010b). By focusing on one such megaproject in Asia our study delves intimately and intricately into the factors that can promote or constrain them.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Despite the uniqueness of Bakun, we draw three conclusions related to large-scale dams and megaprojects as a whole, and one conclusion related to SCORE. First, Bakun does reveal the interconnected nature of the challenges facing big infrastructure projects. To look only at a technical obstacle such as coordinating contractors or conducting hydrological estimates misses those in the economic or political sphere. Such barriers also seamlessly interconnect. The cancellation of the undersea cable was ostensibly a political decision but it also affects the profitability of the project and issues such as negotiating the power purchase agreement and financing rates. Corruption, an enduring political problem in Malaysia, also impacts social, economic, and environmental components of the project, producing a flawed environmental impact assessment, questionable procurement procedures, highly criticized relocation of indigenous communities, cost overruns and delays, and the inability to get financing from multilateral institutions such as the World Bank or Asian Development Bank. Lawsuits brought by NGOs and community leaders over the BHP fall into the legal sphere, but are based on environmental and social issues related to deforestation and alleged human rights abuses. Proper impoundment of the dam is a technical issue but also one that affects downstream river navigation and community livelihood, a social issue, as well as economic issues related to poverty and the prevalence of drinking water. Conversely, water pollution and biodiversity loss are environmental impacts, but affect the survival and livelihood of communities dependent on forests for income and sustenance. This article has shown how one needs a holistic understanding of all of these dimensions if they are to truly understand the difficulties with implementing projects like Bakun in practice. Second, Bakun is a reminder that even today, more than a century after the first hydroelectric dam was built, investing in large-scale hydroelectric power stations carries an assortment of risks. Projects like Bakun can span decades and have to weather changing political administrations, global financial and economic crises, and unexpected fluctuations in demand for energy. Many of these are beyond the control of project sponsors and advocates. Others, such as building a huge hydroelectric facility in the absence of a regulatory framework on energy or before any industries exist to use its electricity, or disregarding community welfare, or having the company in charge of building the dam do its own EIA, may offer examples of what policymakers ought not to do. Third, and connected, is that when done in the manner of Bakun, large-scale energy projects will bring costs that outweigh benefits. This “negative balance” is purely the result of our grounded, interview based approach: most respondents in our study, even those working for organizations entrusted with building the dam, were more critical of the project than they were favorable of it. The purported benefits of Bakun—converting natural resources, industrialization, diversification, and positive spillover affects—seem incontrovertibly offset by a plethora of socio-technical challenges. In particular, it appears that the social and environmental costs, such as the loss of precious virgin rainforests and exacerbation of inequality, were not anticipated or fully appreciated by decision makers when the project was given the green light. Indeed, we would welcome a full cost-benefit assessment of Bakun, including the value of its electricity and broader economic and social consequences (both positive and negative), as a nice quantitative complement to our qualitative study. Fourth, the experience with Bakun casts serious doubts over the desirability and viability of SCORE. As previously noted, SCORE is a long-term development plan to steer Sarawak's heavy or energy-intensive industrial process until 2030 based on optimizing the exploitation of up to 20,000 MW of hydropower potential. If SCORE were to materialize in the fashion of Bakun, the nature of environmental destruction would be irreversibly excessive, and forest-dwelling indigenous peoples would have to confront a host of socio-economic problems arising from displacement and loss of livelihood. The negative consequences of Bakun would be replicated and magnified. We believe that consequent plans for SCORE ought to be fully reconsidered. Ultimately, The experience of Bakun serves as a powerful illustration of how centralized energy megaprojects, while ostensibly championed for reasons of economies of scale and the ability to bring about transformational change in the shortest period of time, often fail to address broader development goals such as fighting energy poverty and improving the livelihoods of the populations affected by these projects. As a result of their immense political, capital, and human resource challenges, projects such as the BHP create powerful coalitions of interest that once formed, become extremely difficult to dismantle. The BHP in many ways serves the interest of those that want to construct and build, rather than those in the forest or actually in Sarawak. One respondent summed it up this way: The big lesson from Bakun is how bad energy policies and planning can lead to what should have been a good project turning bad. Sime Darby somehow won the tender to revitalize the Project after the Asian financial crisis even though they had never built a dam before, and one of the subcontractors doing electrical work on turbines has no experience either. So the problems of Bakun are really emblematic of failures of energy policy. Trying to complete a dam on time, then trying to determine a tariff for that electricity afterwards is unheard of these days, as is relocating communities without adequate compensation or their consent. To study Bakun is to study a series of failures. If for no other reason, then, Bakun is an excellent case study for policymakers because it intimately sketches the anatomy of failure, a failure of government planning, implementation, and oversight, no matter how technically sound the dam's concrete face, spillway, or powerhouse become.