Intake of the Tearce 97 (Bistrica 97) hydropower plant deep in the Shar Mountain, nominated Emerald site. © Andrey Ralev

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

The Vrbas is one of the last remaining rivers providing habitat to the critically endangered ‘tiger of rivers’ – the Huchen. The construction of further HPPs on the river would put this species even more at risk as well as endangering the water supply for residents of Banjaluka. Our Blue Heart partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Center for Environment – are fighting projects, which would destroy the Vrbas once and for all.

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. 

Under the slogan “Mos ma prek Vjosën! (Hands off Vjosa!)”, a special kind of concert took place at the main square in Tirana on October 18, 2017. In front of over 4000 people, prominent musicians sang for the protection of the Vjosa river and against the planned dam projects. Find below some video impressions of the event. Also read our press release and check out the photo gallery!

The days of Dam Vezin are numbered – this is going to be the biggest dam removal project in Europe © JP Doron

France’s Minister of the Environment Nicolas Hulot has approved the removal of two large hydropower plants. The river Sélune in Normandy will be freed of the 35m high Vezin dam as well as the 15 m high Roche-Qui-Boit dam. Demolition works will start in Spring 2018. This reconnects 90 kilometer of watercourse, facilitating free passage for salmons, eels and many other species.

https://undark.org/article/hydropower-dams-albania-vjosa/

This article, published first in mid-Novemer in the magazine Undark, explores why some highly developed country have started efforts to take down hydroelectric dams and why countries like Albania insist on repeating the mistakes that are now costing fortunes to rectify. It also prominently features the Vjosa and efforts to save it. Enjoy!

A study investigating hydropower conflicts in Albania reveals alarming circumstances: In these 4 years, 34 people have been arrested; six casualties are recorded, including one murder and one murder attempt. The study confirms that conflicts, corruption, lack of transparency and even murder are deeply connected with hydropower development in Albania.

Pages