Economic Impacts of the Three Gorges Dam
Due to its enormous scale, the Three Gorges project is quite interesting in terms of economic impact, even despite the lack of data and evidence (due to the fact that the project has yet to be one-hundred percent completed) to back up these hypotheses. There were many positive and negative impacts predicted, most of which are beginning to emerge today, and all of which are closely linked to the social and environmental impacts discussed earlier. Construction
The construction of said dam was quite a massive engineering feat, which means it required a lot of time, materials and skilled labour. These resources are what pushed up the cost of construction, topping 230 million Yuan (Wikipedia), which is roughly 37 billion U.S. Dollars; a staggering figure considering the World Bank refused to fund the project on grounds of environmental and social ethics.
The project was mostly financed by private companies and central bank investors, all eager to get a share of the profits from China’s growing energy demand with dwindling supplies. The debt was fully paid off in 2012 when the dam had produced an astonishing 1000 terawatt hours or 1,000,000,000,000Wh in its short life, offsetting the cost of construction and quickly catapulting the Three Gorges dam into the monetisation stage. Energy Output
At 84 terawatts of power produced per annum, the Three Gorges does an incredible job of producing energy, and the plant alone is responsible for at least 10 percent of the country’s energy supply. Where the average revenue from sales of a Mega Watt Hour of energy is between 200 and 300 Yuan, energy companies, like the Three Gorges company, are raking in great deals of money; over 25,000,000 Yuan profit in a below average year of production ($4,000,000). This may seem quite low to some, but one must keep in mind the high maintenance standard that needs to be upheld, as well as any repairs and labour costs all resulting in high...
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