Hydropower Tsunami on Balkans

New hydropower report: Dam tsunami on Balkans is speeding up ++ 2.800 hydropower projects planned, 187 under construction ++ more than 1.000 of them inside protected areas

Every river and every stream is at risk. In total about 3,000 hydropower plants are projected or under construction in the Balkans. © FLUVIUS / EuroNatur / Riverwatch
Ongoing construction work in Valbona National Park, Albania. © Mirjan Aliaj

Vienna, Radolfzell. A new data set makes the extent of the threat to the Blue Heart of Europe visible: the dam tsunami has started to roll. Currently, between Slovenia and Greece, about 2.800 hydropower plants are being planned, 187 are under construction, more than 1.000 of those (or 37%) inside protected areas (118 of which in national parks, 547 in Natura 2000 areas, the rest inside high level national categories). Since 2015 about 160-180 hydropower plants have been constructed in that region. Within the campaign „Save the Blue Heart of Europe” we regularly assess the hydropower development on the Balkans. Since the last update in 2015, the speed of river destruction has increased. The assessment was prepared by Fluvius.

“These numbers visualize the dimension of the problem. This dam tsunami is threatening Europe´s Blue Heart. Without respect to nature, endangered species, protected areas and people, rivers are being destroyed, their water diverted and whole landscapes are drying up,” says Ulrich Eichelmann, CEO of Riverwatch.

Gabriel Schwaderer, CEO of EuroNatur adds: “The main drivers for this wave of hydropower-tsunami are corruption, the superficiality of many international financial institutions and misconceived climate protection. This has to be stopped, otherwise the Blue Heart of Europe will have a heart attack.”

The results of the investigation                                                                                                               Comparing the latest update with our 2015 data shows that:
• the speed of construction of new hydropower plants is increasing. Currently, 187 projects are under construction, while in 2015 there were only 61.
• hotspots of ongoing river destruction are Albania (81 projects under construction), Serbia (30), Macedonia (22) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (19).
• in the past 2 years, approximately 160-180 plants have been completed.
• 91% of those under construction are projects with a planned installed capacity below 10 megawatts (MW) for which no Environmental Impact Assessment is required.

Contacts
Ulrich Eichelmann - Riverwatch - ulrich.eichelmann(at)riverwatch.eu - 0043 676 6621512
Anja Arning - EuroNatur - anja.arning(at)euronatur.org - 0049 7732 927213

The campaign “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” is a joint initiative of the NGOs EuroNatur and Riverwatch. Together with partner organisations in the Balkan countries we fight against thousands of hydro power projects on the Balkans to protect Europe´s best remaining rivers.

 

 

Do you want to help?

Donation

Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to a more livable environment.

News

New Study: Hydropower development puts Europe’s fish paradise at risk

The Balkan rivers host 113 rare and protected fish species. If the hydropower development is carried out as planned, about 10 percent of all European...

European Court of Justice ruling on Bialowieza: EU must also take action in Romania

Bialowieza: EuroNatur and Agent Green welcome ruling of European Court of Justice and call for forest aid in Romania

Bird conservationists fight for a safe Adriatic Flyway

++ Bird migration in full swing ++ Numerous birds fall victim to poachers in the Balkans ++ Third Adriatic Flyway Conference meets in Serbia ++

Countdown is on for photo competition

Hurry up now! Just ten more days left before the deadline of the photo competition “Europe’s Natural Treasures” which is celebrating its 25th...

International banks fuelling a hydropower tsunami that’s decimating pristine Balkan rivers – study

Multilateral development banks have supported no fewer than 82 hydropower projects across southeast Europe, including in protected areas, according to...

By Bike across the European Union

Two enthusiastic cyclists, five months, 11,000 kilometres: Paul Baumgärtner und Noah Kramer are experiencing the European Union in the most literal...

Timber companies dissociate from sourcing wood from Romanian national parks and primeval forests

EuroNatur and Agent Green investigate traceability of wood ++ International timber companies call on Romanian government to clarify legal situation ++...

Reunited with Maya

On 18 March last year, a female Balkan lynx called Maya was fitted with a tracking device. Over the past year, this has been providing scientists from...

Albania plans to build airport in protected area

New international airport to be constructed in Narta Lagoon ++ Albanian parliament approved the project yesterday ++ EuroNatur and its partners call...

Salt is Life: Abandonment of Ulcinj Salina harms avifauna

++ EuroNatur calls for immediate protection of the saline in Ulcinj, Montenegro ++ Resuming salt production would open perspectives for both birds and...

Numerous birds of prey and corvids poisoned in Serbia

Recently, a rare imperial eagle was found poisoned in Northern Serbia – the eagle had fallen victim to a meat bait. While searching for the animal,...

Construction works on the Jiu hydroelectric power plant still going on

It is scandalous: The romanian appeals court declared the building permission of the Jiu hydroelectric plant several times, lately in December....

Hydroelectric power station on the River Jiu halted for the time being

Encouraging news for the Romanian River Jiu: the building permit has been declared null and void by the courts. As a result the Jiu may continue to...

Study proves: Small power plants, big damage

European-financed small hydropower plants damaging pristine Balkan landscapes

Second part of the documentary series "Out of Control" reveals further intrigues

Destruction of old-growth forests in Romania: logging devastates parts of Semenic National Park, too ++ EuroNatur and Agent Green: unacceptable...

By using our services, you agree that we use cookies. Data protection