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Ministry of Environment: All small hydropower plants will be checked

25 February 2016

The small hydropower plants in Romania will be checked by teams of the National Environment Guard, the National Administration Romanian Waters (ANAR) and the National Agency for Environmental Protection (ANPM), announced the Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests, Cristiana Pașca – Palmer, writes Agerpres. In total, in Romania there are about 300 hydropower plants with installed capacity of up to 10 MW.

“The small hydropower plants experienced a boom until 2012, when the rules for their construction were a little looser. From 2012 onward were introduced in the National Energy Strategy and their effect was more limited. At the moment we have about 300 small hydropower plants for which I ordered control, starting this week. I am concerned with this subject, I am pro-green energy, but we need to see what costs we have upon biodiversity, if upon the mountain rivers the environmental impact is greater than the benefits then we must reconsider the situation. I think excesses have been made.

We asked for this week a team from the Environment Guard, along with Romanian Waters and The Environmental Protection Agency, to analyze if the environmental permits were in compliance and, if not respected, we need to take the necessary measures. It’s good that the people know that the demand for small hydropower greatly decreased. At the moment we have 6 requests for endorsement, compared to previous years we have a downward trend”, said Pașca-Palmer, reports Agerpres.

On the other hand, the owners of the small hydropower plants, criticize the modality used to tax the turbined water (and propose alternative methods of calculation based on flows, falling and revenue from the sale of energy), amount of rent upon the small riverbed, the pressure brought by the special construction tax, and the frequency of inspections by various state authorities.

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