The use of public participation and economic appraisal for public involvement in large-scale hydropower projects: Case study of the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project
Mirumachi, N. and Torriti, J. (2012) The use of public participation and economic appraisal for public involvement in large-scale hydropower projects: Case study of the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project. Energy Policy, 47. pp. 125-132. ISSN 0301-4215
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.04.034
Gaining public acceptance is one of the main issues with large-scale low-carbon projects such as hydropower development. It has been recommended by the World Commission on Dams that to gain public acceptance, publicinvolvement is necessary in the decision-making process (WCD, 2000). As financially-significant actors in the planning and implementation of large-scale hydropowerprojects in developing country contexts, the paper examines the ways in which publicinvolvement may be influenced by international financial institutions. Using the casestudy of the NamTheun2HydropowerProject in Laos, the paper analyses how publicinvolvement facilitated by the Asian Development Bank had a bearing on procedural and distributional justice. The paper analyses the extent of publicparticipation and the assessment of full social and environmental costs of the project in the Cost-Benefit Analysis conducted during the projectappraisal stage. It is argued that while efforts were made to involve the public, there were several factors that influenced procedural and distributional justice: the late contribution of the Asian Development Bank in the projectappraisal stage; and the issue of non-market values and discount rate to calculate the full social and environmental costs.