Renewables

Public consultation starts for policy on small hydropower in Energy Community

Public consultation policy small hydropower Energy Community

Photo: Pixabay

Published

May 14, 2020

Country

Comments

0

Share

Published:

May 14, 2020

Country:

Comments:

0

Share

Widespread concerns and criticism over the impact of hydropower on nature and the quality of life prompted the rethinking of the stance toward the projects, so the Energy Community Secretariat asked individuals, firms and organizations for their opinions.

Public authorities, developers, companies, associations, consumer and environmental organizations and citizens have the opportunity to help shape the policy guidelines concerning small hydropower plants in the region, the Energy Community Secretariat said. Suggestions can be submitted by June 15. The draft focuses on environmental assessments.

The public consultation was launched due to widespread concerns and criticism over the impact on nature and the quality of life. The effects of hydropower projects have a cumulative nature and can be felt over large parts of or even the entirety of river basins, according to the proposed version of the document.

State aid or selective advantage can be in the form of feed-in rates, transfer or lease of property below market price the use of resources without proper remuneration

Hydropower units must comply with the European Union’s acquis communautaire in the design, construction and operational phases, the secretariat stressed. The draft policy guidelines outline the procedure for public participation, screening and scoping and the production of the environmental reports, environmental impact assessments (EIA) and strategic environmental assessments (SEA).

Public consultation small hydropower Energy Community

The Energy Community Secretariat pointed to the prohibition of state aid or selective advantage. It can be in the form of feed-in tariffs (FiT) or premiums (FiP), transfer or lease of property and land below market price or the authorities could allow the use of land and resources without proper remuneration.

“Most countries today are switching from administratively set feed-in tariffs to market-based auctions, trying to reach renewables targets in a more cost-effective way… Consumers benefit through lower costs, while policy makers achieve greater control over the renewable energy sector’s development,” the document adds.

The environment frequently falls victim to poor implementation of the rules on environmental assessment

Small hydropower projects can cause substantial damage if they are not thoroughly planned and scrutinized and their electricity output “may be minimal in comparison,” the secretariat said. The environment “frequently falls victim to poor implementation of the rules on environmental assessment” in countries in the region, it added and warned impacts on a cumulative and international basis are often not assessed at all.

Impairments of property rights of citizens and restrictions of right of access to water and land are listed among the many risks involved with the said activity. Also, small projects can leave the riverbed empty and affect water quality. Blockages change temperature and chemical composition with potentially devastating consequences for sensitive species and biodiversity in general.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

Biodiversity Day: Building a shared future for all life

Biodiversity Day: Building a shared future for all life

22 May 2022 - This year’s slogan of the International Day for Biological Diversity celebrated on May 22nd is...

Serbia-national-consultation-Stokholm+50

Join Serbia’s national consultations under Stockholm+50 initiative

11 May 2022 - Online platform SparkBlue is open until May 20 to all those who wish to join...

Small whale dies Greek waters swallowing plastic

Small whale dies in Greek waters from swallowing plastic

06 May 2022 - There was 15 kilos of plastic in the stomach of a beaked whale carcass found on Rhodes, highlighting the risk from plastic waste on animals and people

EU Bulgaria recovery resilience EUR 6 3 billion grants

EU greenlights Bulgaria’s recovery, resilience plan

07 April 2022 - The EU is about to formally adopt a EUR 6.3 billion grant package for Bulgaria as the European Commission finally endorsed its recovery and resilience plan