Energy info zone
Energy Energy today Energy futures energy action

At vast expense

Water that is held high up behind a dam has lots of energy. As the water falls down it can be used to drive turbines, which make electricity.

The world's largest dam is going to be the Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River in China.

Although it won't be finished until 2009, the hydroelectric power station in the dam already makes the same amount of electricity as 18 nuclear power stations.

Some people feel that the Three Gorges power station is a good thing because it produces loads of electricity and can help to control flooding further downstream along the Yangtze River.

But, at a cost of up to '40 billion, the dam is also the most expensive thing ever to be built anywhere in the world.

Before 2009 over a million people will lose their homes as the reservoir behind the dam fills up and their houses are lost under the water. The impact on land, forests, scenery and even historical sites will also be huge.

Do you think this is too high a price to pay for all of that clean, reliable electricity?

What is "Electricity"?
What is "Hydroelectric"?
What is "Turbine"?
Fascinating fact
Fascinating fact

Hydroelectric power
Hydroelectric power

Blowing up Ghizhou
Blowing up Ghizhou

Hydro power
Watch: Hydro power