Albania:Environmental NGOs warn on HPPs construction effects

30. August 2013. / SEE Energy News

Construction of HPPs can turn Albania to regional energy super force, but tax for this will be high for sure from long term perspective. Study published by Austrian expert Urlich Schwartz about Balkan rivers and their hydro morphology status as well as HPPs’ projects reveals several concerning facts for Albania.

Schwartz states that fragmentation of rivers with several HPP dams has long-term degradation of river system as a consequence. Study was supported by several EU programs and foundations that are fighting for environmental protection.

“Deformation of free river flow by constructing many HPPs at one cascade can have big consequences for Albania. Albanian Rivera risks changes that are not in accordance with all other government priorities and it is tourism. It can cause coastal erosion even though around 60% of rivers have fee flow in Albania at the moment.

Almost 90 HPPs that are planned to be constructed in Albania influence ecosystem of rivers they are built on. Rivers Devol and Vjosa have the biggest risk.

One recommendation from the study is that the whole Balkan need to be careful when it comes to policies about rivers and their ecosystems because rivers are the biggest value of this region. “Although infrastructure and HPPs are significant, biodiversity and preservation of ecosystem are priority for the whole Europe”, it is stated in the study.

Source; Serbia Energy See desk/Riverwatch

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