Video: Our Planet is Facing Twin Crises of Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss

March 6, 2022

Hydropower is already the world’s largest source of renewable energy, but to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, the amount of power generated from water must double over the next thirty years. To do this, we need hydropower solutions that prioritize biodiversity alongside renewable energy production.

Historically, hydro projects have been responsible for fragmenting rivers, destroying habitat, and displacing communities, but it doesn’t have to be this way. New hydro projects — including re-powering aging plants, and adding power to existing dams currently used for flood control, navigation or irrigation — should preserve or improve river connectivity, rather than impeding it.

At Natel Energy, we’ve designed an innovative solution to give fish and other aquatic life the same measure of attention we give to efficient renewable energy generation; we call it the fish-safe Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT). Working with scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (@PNNL) and Kleinschmidt Associates, we’ve performed studies to understand how fish pass through the RHT. The studies confirmed that the RHT can safely pass key migratory fish including eel, herring, and trout with survival rates greater than 99% — comparable to what fish experience when traversing natural river systems.

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