The Commission's "REPowerEU" package of initiatives, which includes the proposal to amend the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED), has provided a timely response to the need to accelerate the deployment of renewables, by setting a higher European renewable energy target and designating "target areas" for renewable energy deployment such as wind or solar energy. However, although the proposal is silent on the role of hydropower in this initiative, it has had a dangerous knock-on effect in encouraging Member States to install new hydropower plants without adequate environmental impact assessment.
The REPowerEU’ package
of initiatives presented in May 2022 by the Commission was meant to update the
EU’s plan for energy transition by, among other, further emphasising the need
to build new capabilities for local source of energy production in order to
break free from dependence on Russian gas.
Faced with this new
challenge, Member States have multiplied new pledges to invest in hydropower,
a power source which is not sustainable and cannot be described as green energy:
The most suitable locations for hydropower have long been occupied by power
plants and new installations would not only be insignificant in terms of
local energy production but would also be catastrophic in social and
Alarmed by this trend
which may undermine the EU’s commitment to restore 25,000 kilometres of
free-flowing rivers in the EU; EAA, EEB, the European Rivers Network, Wetlands
international and WWF issued a briefing paper calling notably on policymakers
to exclude new or revamped hydropower projects from the ‘go-to areas’ and
streamlined permitting under the amended Renewable Energy Directive.
Read more here: https://www.eaa-europe.org/positions/