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Review of Policy Requirements and Financing Instruments (for fishfriendly hydropower)

Review of Policy Requirements and Financing Instruments (for fishfriendly hydropower)

Deliverable 5.1 H2020 Research project "Fishfriendly Innovative Technologies for Hydropower (FIThydro)

This report has been prepared as part of work-package 5 of the FIThydro project on Fishfriendly Innovative Technologies for Hydropower. It aims at investigating the regulatory landscape influencing actions relevant to environmental improvements in the context of planning and operating hydropower plants. Emphasis is given to the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive, nature protection policies and policies on renewable energy and climate change adaptation, thereby outlining opportunities, barriers and challenges in reaching multiple environmental objectives. The report is available for download.

At first, the report outlines key relevant European-level policies. Subsequently, the report focuses on national policies in eight European countries in the four regions (Scandinavia, Alpine, Iberian peninsula and France/Belgium) where FIThydro test sites are located. On this national level of analysis, the key legal requirements for environmental improvements related to existing and new hydropower plants are outlined, as well as relevant aspects in the permitting process. In addition, the report reviews the use of financing instruments to support and sustain ecologically compatible hydropower production.

Hydropower is considered to be a reliable and cost effective renewable energy source. It can make an important contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions in Europe within current climate protection and renewable energy policy. At the same time, the construction and operation of hydropower plants is generally linked to impacts on water ecosystems. The major impacts of hydropower plants in river basins include barriers to fish migration, damage and mortality of fish species, modified flows and habitat conditions, changes in nutrient and physico-chemical conditions, as well as changed sediment patterns.


Kampa, E. Tarpey, J., Rouillard, J., Bakken, T. H., Stein, U.,  Godinho, F. N., Leitão, A. E., Portela, M. M., Courret, D., Sanz-Ronda, F.J., Boes, R., and A. Odelberg (2017). Technical  Deliverable 5.1. Review of policy requirements and financing instruments. H2020 project FIThydro Fishfriendly Innovative Technologies for Hydropower.

Tor Haakon Bakken (SINTEF)
Francisco Nunes Godinho, António Eira Leitão, Maria Manuela Portela (HIDROERG)
Dominique Courret (The French Agency for Biodiversity)
Francisco Javier Sanz-Ronda (ITAGRA)
Robert Boes (ETH Zürich)
Angela Odelberg (Statkraft)
92 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1 Background and objectives
1.2 Methodology
1.3 Structure of the report
2. European policies
2.1 Climate and energy policy framework
2.2 Water Framework Directive
2.3 Nature and biodiversity protection policy
2.4 Eel Regulation
2.5 Strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assessment
2.6 Invasive Alien Species regulation
3. National legislation
4. Strategic planning instruments
4.1 Strategic instruments for new hydropower use and development
4.2 Strategic instruments to restore continuity
5. Environmental requirements in the context of authorising hydropower plants
5.1 Duration of permits/concessions
5.2 Revision of permits for existing HPP
5.3 Mitigation measure requirements for HPP
5.4 Monitoring requirements for mitigation measures
6. Regulatory agencies involved in the authorisation of HPP
7. Financing instruments
7.1 EU support instruments
7.2 Financing instruments at country level
7.2.1 Feed-in tariffs
7.2.2 Green power labels
7.2.3 Support schemes for modernization of existing plants
7.2.4 Support schemes for mitigation measures in new plants
8. Challenges and opportunities for hydropower planning and operation
8.1 Related to the legislative framework and authorisation procedures
8.2 Related to financing instruments
9. References

hydropower, fishfriendly, Water Framework Directive, WFD, renewable energy, water, Europe