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Potentially conflicting interests between Hydropower and the European Unions Water Framework Directive

Melin, Linn LU (2010) In TVVR10/5013 VVR820 20101
Division of Water Resources Engineering
Environmental Engineering (M.Sc.Eng.)
Abstract
Many of the water bodies in Europe are in bad ecological condition due to anthropologic impacts. Pollution and morphological changes have had a severe impact of the water environment and flora and fauna associated with such environments. The fact that water courses often cross administrative borders within countries as well as internationally makes the water management that much more difficult.
The water framework directive (WFD) is an EU directive created in order to protect and improve the water status of the water bodies within the member state countries. Since hydropower production is one activity that has negative environmental impact on the water courses, the regulation imposed by the WFD will have consequences for the hydropower... (More)
Many of the water bodies in Europe are in bad ecological condition due to anthropologic impacts. Pollution and morphological changes have had a severe impact of the water environment and flora and fauna associated with such environments. The fact that water courses often cross administrative borders within countries as well as internationally makes the water management that much more difficult.
The water framework directive (WFD) is an EU directive created in order to protect and improve the water status of the water bodies within the member state countries. Since hydropower production is one activity that has negative environmental impact on the water courses, the regulation imposed by the WFD will have consequences for the hydropower industry. Hydropower causes fragmentation of the water course and an altered hydro regime, which seriously impacts the environment.
Although hydropower has major negative environmental impacts, it provides Europe with 70% of its renewable energy. 10 % of all the electricity is generated from hydropower, which is by far the most important renewable source. Since hydropower is such an important source of renewable electricity and the fact that hydropower has the important ability to store energy, makes it inevitable in the European energy mix even though it causes serious environmental impacts.
Possible conflicts arise between producing renewable electricity from hydropower and conserving the water courses. The WFD provides tools in order to solve the conflicts and to ensure good ecological status in the water bodies. The hydropower industry is concerned about the increased costs of e.g. providing mitigation measures at the hydropower installations and issues regarding the residual flow.
Sweden is not planning any new HP installations and the view towards HP development is rather negative. Austria and Scotland plan a future expansion of the HP industry, although in the case of Scotland mainly a development of small-sale hydropower.
Is appears that it is possible to carefully develop HP, with sufficient mitigation measures in place, without conflicting with the objectives of the WFD. It is unlikely that small-scale HP will play a prominent role in reaching the renewable energy targets on a European level. But small-scale HP can, however, play a role at locations where large-scale HP is not suitable. (Less)
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author
Melin, Linn LU
supervisor
organization
course
VVR820 20101
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Environmental impacts, Gössendorf-Karlsdorf, Glendoe, Vojmån, Water Framework Directive, Hydropower, WFD, small-scale hydropower, Sweden, Scotland, Austria
publication/series
TVVR10/5013
report number
10/5013
ISSN
1101-9824
language
English
additional info
Examiner: Ronny Berndtsson
id
1680111
date added to LUP
2010-09-22 08:15:08
date last changed
2019-03-27 11:42:20
@misc{1680111,
  abstract     = {Many of the water bodies in Europe are in bad ecological condition due to anthropologic impacts. Pollution and morphological changes have had a severe impact of the water environment and flora and fauna associated with such environments. The fact that water courses often cross administrative borders within countries as well as internationally makes the water management that much more difficult.
The water framework directive (WFD) is an EU directive created in order to protect and improve the water status of the water bodies within the member state countries. Since hydropower production is one activity that has negative environmental impact on the water courses, the regulation imposed by the WFD will have consequences for the hydropower industry. Hydropower causes fragmentation of the water course and an altered hydro regime, which seriously impacts the environment.
Although hydropower has major negative environmental impacts, it provides Europe with 70% of its renewable energy. 10 % of all the electricity is generated from hydropower, which is by far the most important renewable source. Since hydropower is such an important source of renewable electricity and the fact that hydropower has the important ability to store energy, makes it inevitable in the European energy mix even though it causes serious environmental impacts.
Possible conflicts arise between producing renewable electricity from hydropower and conserving the water courses. The WFD provides tools in order to solve the conflicts and to ensure good ecological status in the water bodies. The hydropower industry is concerned about the increased costs of e.g. providing mitigation measures at the hydropower installations and issues regarding the residual flow.
Sweden is not planning any new HP installations and the view towards HP development is rather negative. Austria and Scotland plan a future expansion of the HP industry, although in the case of Scotland mainly a development of small-sale hydropower.
Is appears that it is possible to carefully develop HP, with sufficient mitigation measures in place, without conflicting with the objectives of the WFD. It is unlikely that small-scale HP will play a prominent role in reaching the renewable energy targets on a European level. But small-scale HP can, however, play a role at locations where large-scale HP is not suitable.},
  author       = {Melin, Linn},
  issn         = {1101-9824},
  keyword      = {Environmental impacts,Gössendorf-Karlsdorf,Glendoe,Vojmån,Water Framework Directive,Hydropower,WFD,small-scale hydropower,Sweden,Scotland,Austria},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {TVVR10/5013},
  title        = {Potentially conflicting interests between Hydropower and the European Unions Water Framework Directive},
  year         = {2010},
}