Report indicates hundreds of hydro projects under construction in southeast Europe

Hydro in southeast Europe

In southeast Europe, there are 1,355 greenfield hydropower plants either being planned or having entered operation since 2005, according to a recently released report.

Of these, 200 are in operation and 113 are under construction. The report indicates 823 projects are actively planned and another 171 are regarded as potential.

For purposes of this report -- entitled Financing for Hydropower in Protected Areas in Southeast Europe -- countries in southeast Europe include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece (northern), Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

A total of more than 1,800 projects were screened, with 1,355 identified as greenfield. The report provides country profiles. Albania contains 583 of the screened hydropower projects, Bosnia and Herzegovina 278, Bulgaria 187, Croatia 157, northern Greece six, Kosovo 107, Macedonia 206, Montenegro 143, Serbia 88, and Slovenia 102.

Potential total generating capacity of the plants was not disclosed, although many of them are less than 10 MW.

In this region, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has supported at least 51 greenfield plants with about €240 million. Other banks involved include the European Investment Bank (five plants, about €437 million and 19 small and mini plants, about €22 million), and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation(22 plants, monetary value not disclosed).

Concerns outlined in the report include “rampant corruption and inadequate nature protection” and the fact that almost half of the planned projects are in protected areas.

The report was prepared by CEE Bankwatch Network as part of the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign. It contains recommendations to multilateral development banks; commercial banks, export credit agencies and national development banks; national governments of countries in the region; the European Commission; the European Commission and energy community; and non-governmental organizations.

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