Our group of allies is increasing! Artists raise their voices against the total destruction of Balkan rivers – they want to see them protected, not dammed.
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. In addition to the 21,387 existing hydropower plants, another 8,785 are planned, mainly in the Alps and the Balkans. Previously untouched rivers – especially in the Balkans – are to be destroyed. 28% of planned hydropower projects are situated in protected areas, mainly in national parks and Natura 2000 sites. The study also evidences an alarming rise in small hydropower (91%), which wreaks environmental havoc whilst producing very little energy.
The study was commissioned by EuroNatur, Riverwatch, WWF, and GEOTA. Its findings highlight the failure of governments both within and outside the EU to protect rivers and biodiversity, and document plain disregard of EU water protection legislation, in particular the Water Framework Directive.