The fact that further hydropower development offers additional reduction potential for greenhouse gas emissions but at the same time causes negative impacts on the riverine ecology was recognised by the Danube countries. Therefore, the ICPDR was asked in the Danube Declaration 2010 to organise in close cooperation with the hydropower sector and all relevant stakeholders a broad discussion process with the aim of developing guiding principles on integrating environmental aspects in the use of existing hydropower plants, including a possible increase of their efficiency, as well as in the planning and construction of new hydropower plants.
The three Lead Countries Austria, Romania and Slovenia have been nominated to steer the process of the elaboration of the Guiding Principles in the frame of the ICPDR. The Lead Countries are supported by a Team of Experts, including representatives from National Administrations (i.e. Ministries of Energy and Environment), the hydropower sector, NGOs and the scientific community. Work on the activity is progressing and an “Assessment Report on Hydropower Generation in the Danube Basin” has been developed, including questionnaires on the current status and future plans as regards hydropower generation that had been filled out by the Danube countries and had been analysed and compiled into the report. This work provided the basis for the discussions on the Guiding Principles and served as a basis of the 1st ICPDR workshop on hydropower and water management.
The workshop was organised as a working meeting and required the active participation of all participants. The main background information for the discussions at the workshop was a draft “Assessment Report on Hydropower Generation in the Danube River Basin” next to presentations and case studies presented during the event. Furthermore, special attention was paid to ongoing discussions on the topic at EU level.
The specific aims of the workshop included:
- Development of a common framework for the implementation of the requirements stemming from the policy fields of renewable energy/hydropower generation and water/environmental protection requirements;
- Sharing of practical experience on balancing the requirements of renewable energy development and the EU Water Framework Directive;
- Feedback and input towards the finalisation of the “Assessment Report on Hydropower Generation in the Danube Basin” as well as an
- Orientation debate and input for the elaboration of the Guiding Principles on Hydropower Generation for the Danube River Basin.
Participation of experts and stakeholders from both, the energy sector and experts working in the water and environment sector on national and international level contributed to an informed debate. The outcomes of the workshop constituted vital input for the ongoing activities on the topic during 2012 and 2013.
The workshops served as an important platform to
- exchange information on hydropower generation in the Danube Basin
- generate common understanding on the topic
- gather input for the elaboration of the Guiding Principles on Sustainable Hydropower Development in the Danube Basin.
This workshop is supported by the EU Grant DRBMP-2012.