The role of hydropower in selected South-Eastern European countries

The SEE region has the largest remaining unexploited hydropower potential in Europe. However, the development of untapped hydropower potentials in South-Eastern European countries has caused growing environmental concerns, since many of the effected river stretches are considered to be of high ecological value. Nevertheless, the number of awarded concessions has been rapidly increasing in the last few years and today a few thousand new hydropower plants are in the pipeline in the whole SEE region. On the other hand despite a promising potential alternative renewable energy sources have yet experienced only in a few SEE countries an emerging trend, i.e. most SEE countries put the focus of its energy policy still on hydropower rather than on wind, solar and biomass. In this context, EuroNatur and RiverWatch commissioned e3 consult with a study on the future role of hydropower in seven selected SEE countries, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia.

Based on an overview of the existing generation mix this study analyses the overall perspectives of hydropower in the covered SEE countries. Furthermore the study provides an assessment of the impact of the ecological classification of hydropower projects by EuroNatur/­River­Watch on the further development of hydropower in the seven SEE countries and gives an overview about the potentials of other renewable technologies to verify if ecologically unattractive projects could in principle be substituted by wind, solar and/or biomass.

The study can be downloaded on the webpage of RiverWatch from this link.


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