On small hydropower plants in Germany and Europe
"Green Flow - Red Flow"
The European Anglers Alliance, representing 11 European nations and over 3 million anglers, held its 13th General Assembly in Greenwich, London, United Kingdom, and discussed the effects of hydropower on fish and the aquatic environment.
European anglers ascertained, in consensus with the German anglers represented by the Verband Deutscher Sportfischer e.V., that their years-long persistent advocacy of environmental preservation, sustainable fishing, rod & line fishing and ecological water protection has resulted in increasingly improved results, both in German states and in the other European nations.
The alternative production of energy is a vital component in an environmental protection policy. It is thus incomprehensible to the millions of German and European anglers that the German government is persevering with its continued development of “small hydropower stations”.
At the present time, around 7,000 small hydropower plants produce around 0.02% of German power requirements to the unimaginable detriment of fish and their live foodstuffs. One study alone, conducted in the state of Bavaria, showed that over 4,000 small hydropower plants cause life-endangering injury or death to more than 200,000 fish daily. This is surely a senseless loss of a huge quantity of biomass, a meaningless attack on the biodiversity of our waterways, a destruction of the most sensitive of environmental aspects of German and European waters, and one which has absolutely no foundation.
Despite these unarguable facts, the German government intends to further increase funding for these environmentally destructive plants, at the cost of German energy consumers and within the framework of the amendments to the German legislation on renewable energy (the “EEG”). The policy documents published by the SPD and the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen even go so far as to strongly support the further development of small hydro plants in inconceivable numbers.
- The anglers of the European Anglers Alliance, together with the German anglers aligned with the Verband Deutscher Sportfischer, vehemently protest against the enactment of these intentions and demand:
- The prohibition of any additional destruction to rivers and streams by small hydropower plants
- The amendment of the EEG, in a form which would progressively reduce the funding for such environmentally harmful plants
- The gradual demolition of ageing plants, in order to achieve the necessary flow levels, or indeed improve these.
The delegates of the EAA explicitly point out that the almost negligible use of these “small hydropower plants”, in comparison to the huge environmental damage that they cause, is in contravention of Article 20 a of the Basic Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany. Thus, investigations are currently underway into the prospect of raising a claim against unconstitutionality.
Furthermore, the exemption stipulations of the European Water Framework Directive in no way cover such enormous damage in relationship to use. This is thus a blatant infringement of European Law and legal process is also being examined here.
We demand that the German government renounce the planned amendments to the EEG in their current form.
In view of their responsibility to the environment, we demand that members of the German Bundestag reject any legal stipulations, which will result in damage to the environment, whatsoever their form.
We demand that members of the European Parliament examine this issue within the scope of EU legislation and that they work in conjunction with the European Commission in particular, to pursue contravention of environmental legislation by any of the member states.
In the battle to preserve a healthy environment, the members of the European Anglers Alliance and the Verband Deutscher Sportfischer request that every German and European political representative participate actively, in order to achieve these goals which are so beneficial to us all.
London, on the 27th October 2007