The Role of Small Hydropower in the EU-27

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The Role of Small Hydropower in the EU-27

Dirk Hendricks, ESHA ESHA-Hydroaction Seminar Small Hydro Going Smart

Brussels, 13 April 2010

The European Small Hydropower Association (ESHA) Promotion of the interest of the small hydropower sector in Europe and globally Non-profit international organisation, founded in 1989 Members in EU countries and globally (national associations, research, industry, independent producres, project developers, investors, research community, equipment manufacturers) Headquarters ideally located with other RES associations in the Renewable Energy House in Brussels

ESHA – Key activities 1. Policy Advice and lobbying 2. Public relations and media activities 3. Membership services 4. EU co-sponsored projects

EU-sponsored projects SHAPES - Small Hydro Action for the Promotion of Efficient Solutions HYDROACTION - Methodology on maximising productivitycost turbines RURAL-RES - Good practices of mini-hydro in mountain areas CHOICE- Certification procedure for hydropower STREAM MAP - Roadmap and central database for SHP sector SoRE – SHP and storage and grid issues

Facts about Small Hydro Power (<10 MW) Supplies over 12 million EU householdes 41 000 GWh of electricity production Over 13 000 MW of installed capacity Reduces GHG emissions by 29,000,000 tons per year

Provides back-up for grid increased volume of intermittent RE technologies Enables use of local energy sources hence improving local energy security decreasing transport losses creating income sources and jobs

Increased role with CC adaptation (flood prevention and control, irrigation needs)

High energy pay-back ratio* Plant

Yield factor

Small hydro


Large hydro




Solar (thermal)




* ratio of the quantity of energy produced by an installation during its lifetime and the energy required manufacturing the installation, its operation and disposal including secondary energy.

Leading SHP EU Countries 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Italy (21%) France (17.5%), Spain (15.5%), Germany (14%), Austria (9.4%) Sweden (7.7%)

High identified capacities in Romania (3%), Czech Republic (2.4%) and Poland (2.3%) (% of the total SHP installed capacity in the EU-27)

Leading SHP EU Countries

EU 27 RES Electricity Production

RES Directive Establishes a framework for the promotion of renewable energy sources in the EU up to 2020 Sets mandatory national targets for renewable energy sources in final energy consumption and in the transport sector Provides flexibility to MS in meeting the targets: it lays down rules on statistical transfers, joint projects between Member States and with third countries It requires the streamlining of administrative procedures, more information and training on RES and access to the electricity grid for energy from renewable sources

Water Framework Directive Has as key objective to achieve good ecological status (GES) for all surface waters in the EU by 2015. If a Water Body (WB) fails to reach good status as a result of physical alterations by human activity it can be designated as heavily modified or artificial. In these cases the environmental objective is good ecological potential (GEP) Regardless of the starting reference point (HMWB or not HMWB) the measures taken to meet the final objectives of the WFD, imply strong negative effects on small hydro

Policy Framework & Barriers in the EU

Key barriers to SHP development Environmental concerns - ecological impact Regulatory barriers – WFD, Eels regulation, Natura 2000, river classification, no go areas Administrative barriers – long, costly & complicated licensing procedures Lack of financial incentives and clear regulatory framework (developing countries) Affordable & transparent grid connection Negative image

Environment Environm ental Integration - Resistance to SHP developm ent EU-27 & CC Visual im pact


W ater regulation

Environm ental Regulation

Com petition with other uses

O ther kinds of resistance

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% AT














*Inform ation not available due to too sm all num ber S HP P













Key challenges Balance between economics and ecology Need for further R&D investment to address this balance Need for political decision on an integrated approach to water resource planning Balancing the targets of the RES Directive and WFD remains a critical objective for the sector

Areas of potential growth New very/low-head small hydropower schemes Multi-purpose schemes: electricity production combined with flood control, irrigation channels, waste water treatment and recreational use Repowering and upgrading of existing sites Development of storage facilities to revalue other RES such as wind and solar Innovative methods of taking advantage of using energy from existing sites, for example using reserved flow for electricity production Flood prevention/control increasingly important with CC

Recommandations for future SHP Decrease the barriers for developing Measures for fast-track planning procedures & onestop shops Increase public awareness & improve acceptance at local level Support the manufacturing industry by increasing the research more efficient more environmental friendly Maintain competativness on international level

Thank you for your attention +32 2 546 1945 Skype: dirk.hendricks