What if hydroelectricity wasn’t that clean

A truly renewable energy ?

Barrages present multiple advantages, moreso knowing that their production of energy can be triggered in highly demanding periods.

But let’s not forget that barrages artificially retain water, which short-circuits in a way the natural flow of the water. Running water transforms into backwater and it upsets the life of ecosystems: the temperature of water is disturbed, the migration of fishes is obstructed and the transport of sediments is stopped. Barrages thus strongly contribute to the erosion of biodiversity.

Focus on the Balkan

Let’s look at the case of extreme gravity of the Balkan peninsula. This region named the blue heart of Europe, deserves its name from the richness of its landscapes : 20’000 kilometers of rivers that connect Bosnie to Albania, lagoons, waterfalls, forests…

A true reservoir of biodiversity, this region is now threatened by nearly 3,000 hydroelectric dam construction projects.

Beside, biodiversity is not the only one impacted. Entire villages will have to move due to the risk of being flooded. The cultural and economic impact for these villages is not insignificant.

Act for the Blue Heart : 

All for electricity, nothing for the protection of the environment. This is the alarm bell rang by the NGO EcoAlbania, which denounces the situation with conviction through a major campaign: “save the blue heart of Europe”. According to the association, 75% of endangered species would not survive long-term dam construction. The idea of this campaign is to stop investments from international banks. A Bankwatch report from January 2018 states that they allowed loans of 727 million euros for dams and diversions of rivers in the Balkans.

On June 27, parliament debated the issue with NGOs and Balkan governments. The idea was to not compromise in order to preserve biodiversity and have a low-carbon future.

To know more :

https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/079474-039-A/re-europas-letzter-wilder-fluss/

https://www.balkanrivers.net/

All studies are available here :

https://www.balkanrivers.net/en/studies

On the 2018 Balkan River Tour:

https://thepaddlermag.com/2018/09/05/balkan-river-tour-3/

A propos de Laura SAGER

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