Slovene Government planning to expand hydroelectric power

A series of hydroelectric power stations are planned to be built along the River Save in Slovenia; the government in Ljubljana has granted several construction permits. Conservationists have been protesting and are hoping for an environmental impact assessment in order to prevent the construction.

Floodlands at the River Save

Dark clouds over the River Save: if all the hydroelectric projects come to fruition, the River Save will be threatened by ecological disaster.

© Martin Schneider-Jacoby

The Slovenian government has issued construction permits to the Slovenian Electricity Company (HSE) for the erection of three hydroelectric power stations on the River Save. The three hydroelectric projects planned could cost over 350 million Euros and are due to be completed by 2030. But this is not all: plans for a further 18 hydroelectric power plants are already with the Slovenian Ministry for the Environment. It is no coincidence that the Minister for the Environment, Andrej Vizjak, is from the hydroelectric power sector and is pursuing a policy of naked clientelism.

The hopes of EuroNatur and its partners on the River Save now rest on the Slovenian courts. “This part of the River Save, which would be destroyed by the construction of hydroelectric power stations, is the spawning ground of the endangered Danube salmon (hucho hucho). No properly carried out environmental impact survey would approve of this building project,” said Annette Spangenberg, who coordinates river conservation at EuroNatur. “The European Union must also speak out clearly against this project. Since the restoration of 25,000 kilometres of river are planned as part of the Green Deal, it is completely senseless to destroy intact sections of the river,” Spangenberg added.

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