Large hydropower dams will become a less sustainable source of renewable energy as the climate changes, especially in the developing world, according to a report released Nov. 5.

Unpredictable weather extremes, especially severe climate-driven droughts, are likely to reduce the dams’ ability to generate electricity, concluded the Michigan State University study.

To avoid unreliable power generation, lost biodiversity and social impacts of dam construction, countries such as China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Brazil should focus renewable energy development on wind, solar, and special electric power generators designed to capture energy from river currents, the paper said.

Hydropower developers...