Study

Europe’s rivers are damned by dams: Plans for more than 8,700 new hydropower plants

The first pan-European inventory of existing and planned hydropower plants shows the immense pressure on rivers throughout the continent. In addition to the 21,387 existing hydropower plants, another 8,785 are planned, mainly in the Alps and the Balkans. Devastating impacts on biodiversity and society are to be expected.

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New Vjosa study: hardly any energy, no sand for the beach

++ Sediment study of the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) proves serious consequences of the planned power plants on the Vjosa ++ For over a year, scientists from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) have been studying the sediment transport of the Vjosa river for different high and low water phases

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Eco-Masterplan Video now online!

Freshwater systems are threatened like no other ecosystem globally. In Europe, the last intact rivers are located in the Balkans, but are severely at risk due to 3000 dam projects. We have come up with a scientifically founded plan to protect these river jewels: the Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers. For the purpose of today’s World Water Day, we present to you this video explaining the Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers in two minutes.

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Comprehensive Study on Ecosystem Vjosa published

More than 60 scientists from Albania, Austria and Germany have collected their knowledge about the biodiversity and ecology of the Vjosa on 385 pages. The comprehensive study "The Vjosa in Albania - a riverine ecosystem of European significance", published in Acta ZooBot Austria, was presented by the lead scientists at Tirana International Hotel on December 6th.

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Eco-Masterplan shows value of Balkan Rivers

++ 80,000 kilometers of rivers in the Balkans scientifically assessed ++ 76 percent thereof identified as no-go zones for hydropower development ++ Switch in energy policy is necessary and possible ++ Three quarters of the rivers in the Balkans are ecologically so valuable, that they should be completely off limits for hydropower development. This is the conclusion of the Eco-Masterplan, which was published today by the NGOs Riverwatch and EuroNatur.

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Study: 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? We commissioned an energy expert with this question and his study shows that there is no need for new hydropower!

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New Study: Hydropower development puts Europe’s fish paradise at risk

+++ The Balkan rivers host 113 rare and protected fish species. If the hydropower development is carried out as planned, about 10 percent of all European river fish species will be endangered +++ The rivers in the Balkans constitute Europe’s fish sanctuary, according to a new study presented today by Riverwatch and EuroNatur.

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International banks fuelling a hydropower tsunami that’s decimating pristine Balkan rivers – study

+++ 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 +++

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Bankwatch Study: Broken Rivers

Within the context of the Blue Heart of Europe campaign, the NGO Bankwatch visited eight recently constructed small hydropower plants in Albania, Macedonia and Croatia. All of them were financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Their findings are published in this report. If you always wanted to know whether small is actually beautiful when it comes to hydropower, find out the truth in this study: Broken Rivers

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New report: Hydropower Tsunami in the Balkans

A new data set makes the extent of the threat to the Blue Heart of Europe visible: the dam tsunami has started to roll. Currently, about 2,800 hydropower plants are being planned between Slovenia and Greece, 187 are under construction, more than 1,000 (or 37%) are located inside protected areas. Since 2015, about 160 to 180 hydropower plants have been constructed in that region.

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