RENEXPO, a conference & exhibition on renewable energies recently held in Budapest, paid tribute to this growing interest. The European Small Hydropower Association (ESHA) was in charge of planning the structure and content of a specialised SHP workshop launched during the event.
Decision-makers and opinion leaders were given the latest news on SHP technology and were invited to promote this sustainable form of energy in their countries. The workshop ended with a presentation of SHP projects in Bosnia, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia and a showcase of the latest Austrian turbine technology. The ESHA event once again portrayed the status quo of SHP in the Near East Region as follows:
- The biggest uncertainty is the lack of hydrological data. The run-off behaviour of rivers in the Near East cannot be directly compared to that of Austrian water bodies. But since it provides the “fuel” for hydropower plants, investigation and research in this area is badly needed.
- The enclosed table based on available raw figures shows that currently only 14 percent of the overall potential of SHP in Near East Region countries is exploited. Whether and how many percentage points SHP will be able to gain largely depends on whether and when the widely lacking investment safety is overcome.
- The discovery of SHP in the Near East has also attracted a growing number of freeloaders and profiteers seeking their advantage amidst the current political and economic changes. The only effective remedy against this menace is the competent support from EU member states with real SHP expertise and know-how. After all, SHP is a proven tool in regional development, which must be prevented from misuse and developed together with the local public.
European Small Hydropower Association
a.o. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bernhard Pelikan (Pres.)