The optimum site allows the smallest dam with the biggest storage potential, writes Tom Nevin A POSER is facing political leaders, engineers and social planners: should developing countries meet their energy needs by building one or two really big dams, or a network of a few hundred smaller ones?Building a large dam is a monumental trophy to parade to current admirers and future generations. Inside every engineer is a large dam trying to get out, some in the profession admit. With egos at play, the goal of lighting up a dark continent by the most appropriate and cost-effective means can be lost.The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of Africa’s most watered countries. A latticework of hundreds of rivers threads the country, contributing to making the awesome Congo River.Conservatively, more than 100,000MW of electrical energy is stored in those rivers, and the Congo River is capable of generating nearly half of that.Yet, about 90% of the DRC’s 79.4-million population have no ...

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