Greenfield large hydropower investments across southeast Europe face major risks and low realisation rates, according to a new report by CEE Bankwatch, EuroNatur, Riverwatch and WWF Adria published today, which also highlights nine high-risk project cases. Vulnerability to drought, legal issues, increasing public resistance and lack of financing are among the factors which have stopped a slew of large hydropower projects in recent years.
The small hydropower boom, which has damaged pristine rivers and streams across the Western Balkans, has largely been fueled by generous feed-in tariffs. This briefing highlights the recent progress towards changing the rules on renewable energy support in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.
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, with little benefit for electricity generation, finds a new study released today by CEE Bankwatch Network.
As a result of public resistance to small-scale hydropower projects in the Balkans, and in consequence to the milestone bank summit between the financial sector and green activists on March 1st, the EBRD is considerably tightening its standards: the bank will ask commercial banks to refer all high-risk projects – including all hydropower plants – for additional checks, starting with 2020.
How come that a destructive project like that is being approved within a protected area? How can it be that a project within a protected area even receives funding? How is it possible that the funding comes from a European public development bank, the EBRD? Read how that happens in this Bankwatch webstory...
+++ Multilateral development banks have supported no fewer than 82 hydropower projects across southeast Europe, including in protected areas, according to a study by CEE Bankwatch Network released today +++
HPPs are popping up in Albania like bunkers in Hoxha’s time – with little regard for people and nature, just like in the “old days”. Only that it is not Hoxha, but the EBRD and other international donors financing the loss of nature and livelihoods, while priding themselves with their alleged environmental standards. Read Bankwatch’s blog post...
The Vjosa is by far not the only river in Albania threatened by hydropower. At the Qarishte river in central Albania, residents are faced with the dire consequences of the Rapuni dam. Read this webstory by CEE Bankwatch Network.
Read below Bankwatch's blog post about local opposition against a dam on the Vrbas in Bosnia-Herzegovina that, if build, would further devastate already endangered fish habitat. This river stretch is also a critical habitat for the endangered and protected Huchen, a fish species particularly vulnerable to dam construction.
Our group of allies is increasing! Scientists in our network not only lend their own data but also use their independent voices to advocate for the protection of rivers.
The interactive map to explore the region in detail based on different criteria.
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.
We are a coalition of NGOs who have launched the campaign “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” in order to raise awareness about the imminent dam craze on the Balkan peninsula and to spare the most valuable rivers and river stretches from destruction.