Studies

Hydropower projects on Balkan Rivers: 2022 Update

Every two years, we analyse the situation of hydropower development in the Balkans. As of summer 2022, 3,281 hydropower plants are planned, 108 under construction and 1,726 are operational in the Balkans... READ MORE

Neretva Science Week – Preliminary Report

The purpose of this report is to provide some very preliminary impressions from the Neretva Science Week, highlights and an overview from each of the specialty groups...READ MORE

Why hydropower in southeast Europe is a risky investment

This report explains the risks behind hydropower projects in southeast Europe and shows that it will only get harder to build them in the future, due to climate vulnerability, the region’s...READ MORE

The Shushica River – Interdisciplinary exploration of the unique ecosystem

This preliminary report proves the high conservation value of the Shushica as an essential branch of the Vjosa river system. The Shushica hosts highly specific and endangered fauna and flora...READ MORE

Cutting hydropower subsidies – how are the Western Balkans doing?

This briefing highlights the recent progress towards changing the rules on renewable energy support in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia... READ MORE

Public money vs. pristine rivers

As the European Investment Bank revises its Environmental and Social Standards, this report presents eight hydropower schemes in central and eastern Europe either financed or under consideration by the Bank. READ MORE

Sava.Restore - Connecting the floodplains for healthy alluvial forest

This feasibility study covers the Sava river stretch near the Bosut Forest (Serbia) and Spacva Forest (Croatia). The concept of this study foresees to provide an ecological floodplain restoration plan and promotes the idea of integrated land use and forest management. READ MORE

Sava River Restoration - from Brežice to Rugvica

This feasibility study foresees to provide a nature-based solution to current floodplain developments and promotes the idea of an ecological alternative to current spatial planning and challenges like river bed incision on the Sava river between Brežice and Rugvica. READ MORE

Social Impact of Hydropower: Quantitative Impact Assessment for the Balkan Countries

Hydropower plants and dams have detrimental effects on river ecosystems, but they also affect people in negative ways. This first-of-its-kind study on the social impacts of hydropower... READ MORE

Protection study of the Vjosa River Valley based on IUCN protected area standards

The IUCN has analysed the ecological and legal aspects around the Vjosa river. This study provides insight into the rationale and feasibility of declaring a protected area for the Vjosa Valley... READ MORE

Legal Toolkit to protect rivers from hydropower development

This Legal Toolkit provides guidance to activists and civil society organisations in navigating the possibilities for legal actions in river protection...READ MORE

The Vjosa River - A Baseline Study on Biodiversity, potential impacts, and legal framework for hydropower development

This baseline survey summarises the value of the Vjosa River system and points out the detrimental effects dams could have on the river... READ MORE

Evaluating the energy contribution of small hydropower in the European Mediterranean Basin

This study evaluates the economic viability in a climate change context and the energy contribution of small hydropower projects in the Mediterranean...READ MORE

Hydropower projects on Balkan Rivers: 2020 Update

Since the last update of this kind in 2018, another 300 HPPs came into operation, leaving hundreds of kilometres of rivers and streams devastated...READ MORE

Death by a thousand cuts

Black Catalogue of small hydropower plants: what do small dams really look like and how do they affect nature and species around them? Not many people have ever seen...READ MORE

Threatened Freshwater Fishes of the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot

The Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot is among the most biologically diverse regions worldwide but severely threatened by hydropower... READ MORE

Rivers and Dams in the wider Mediterranean Basin

This study is the first comprehensive attempt to provide a large-scale overview of hydropower plants and rivers in the extended Mediterranean basin using a... READ MORE

Contribution to biodiversity knowledge of the Aoos river basin

The present biodiversity study has been conducted on the Greek part of the Aoos-Vjosa river. It focuses on insect species related to water (Odonata)... READ MORE

Renewable energy sources in the Aoos basin

This study shows that further development of hydropower in Greece, and particularly in the Aoos river basin, is a strategy that has detrimental environmental... READ MORE

Hydropower Pressure on European Rivers: The Story in Numbers

The first pan-European inventory of existing and planned hydropower plants shows the immense pressure on rivers throughout the continent, despite EU rules which should limit new hydropower plants... READ MORE

Hydropower Subsidy Study - Western Balkans hydropower: Who pays, who profits?

Disproportionate public subsidies for small hydropower in the Western Balkans have resulted in widespread environmental damage and have benefited wealthy business people close to or part of the region’s governments...READ MORE

Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers

The Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers is a comprehensive study which, for the first time, combines knowledge about biodiversity (fish, mussels, caddisflies), integrity of rivers and floodplains (hydromorphology), as well as the location of protected areas... READ MORE

Alternatives to hydropower in the Balkans

The countries in the Balkans are facing a dilemma: they must fulfill the EU renewable targets while also follow environmental legislation. This raises the question: Is it possible to increase the renewable energy share AND keep the Balkan Rivers alive? READ MORE

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