EUROPEAN SMALL HYDROPOWER ASSOCIATION
STATE OF THE ART OF SMALL HYDROPOWER IN EU - 25
with support from
INTRODUCTION EXPLOITING THE WATER RESOURCE Advantages of Small Hydropower STATUS OF SHP IN EU-25 SHP plants in operation SHP installed capacity and electricity generation SHP potential SHP in the Renewable Energy Mix SHPeconomics and costs SHP industry status SHP employment SHP projections into the future SHP R&D SHP in ﬁgures POLICY FRAMEWORK Targets for SHP Market incentives and support mechanisms Environmental Directives and SHP Barriers SMALL HYDROPOWER RESPECTS AND PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT SHP and climate change SHP and river ecosystems MARKET OPPORTUNITIES CHALLENGES
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Small Hydro Power in Austria © KÖ
he European and National policy framework for renewables in general and for small hydro in particular has evolved considerably in the last few years: at a European level targets have been set for renewables - a share of 12% of renewable energy in gross inland energy consumption, and a share of 22%for green electricity by 2010 - and the policy framework has been shaped following the objectives of climate change mitigation and ensuring the fulﬁlment of European commitments to the Kyoto protocol, ensuring sustainable security of energy supply by reducing dependence on energy imports and the improvement of industrial competitiveness and having a positive impact on regional development andemployment. For of all these reasons the promotion of electricity from renewable sources of energy is a high Community priority. The European policy framework for renewable energies gives Member States a reason to consider Small Hydropower (SHP) because it is the most mature and proven of all renewable energy technologies, with a long historical track-record. At the same time it puts great emphasis onenvironmental integration. Looking to the future there are good reasons to support small hydropower: Small hydropower is needed to achieve European targets on renewable energies. The depletion of oil and natural gas deposits will lead to higher generation costs for thermal plants; by offsetting thermal generation, small hydropower is a leading technology in efforts to reduce greenhouse gases andin climate change mitigation. The growth of the world’s population, especially in developing countries, will require the appropriate infrastructure for irrigation and water supply; the addition of a hydropower component to such a project is economic and has no major environmental or social impacts but a broad range of beneﬁts as it ensures decentralised energy supply. Small hydropower is a muchmore concentrated energy resource than other renewables, it is predicatable, non-varying and has a higher capacity factor and longlife.
I N T R O D U CT I O N
The knock-on beneﬁts of achieving this goal would include: Signiﬁcant reduction of CO2 emissions; Scientiﬁc and industrial development in a high technology sector; Employment creation; Avoided fuel costs;Increased security of supply; Local and regional development and exports to third countries, which can beneﬁt considerably from European technology. Reinforcement of policies affecting the penetration of renewable energies, including: agriculture and rural policy, regional policy, internal market measures in the regulatory and ﬁscal areas; Strengthening of cooperation between Member States, as well ascoordinated support measures to facilitate investment and enhance the dissemination of information on renewable energy sources (RES). However, there is a common perception that SHP is a fully developed technology and therefore, it does not need any signiﬁcant level of institutional support. It is assumed that market forces alone will be sufﬁcient to take it forward. However, in reality, there is...