New report: Southeast Europe hydropower investment risks are high and rising
July 27, 2022
Greenfield large hydropower investments across southeast Europe (1) face major risks and low realisation rates, according to a new report by CEE Bankwatch, EuroNatur, Riverwatch and WWF Adria published today, which also highlights nine high-risk project cases (2).
Why hydropower in southeast Europe is a risky investment
July 27, 2022
Hydropower, together with coal, has traditionally played a major role in the power systems of southeast Europe, with particularly high shares in Albania, Montenegro and Croatia. And today, southeast European governments, utilities and energy experts are keen to build even more hydropower.
Flagships or red flags? Risks of proposed flagship infrastructure projects under the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans
March 24, 2022
Under the European Commission’s October 2020 Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) is set to provide grants worth EUR 9 billion, with up to EUR 20 billion more in investments leveraged through the Western Balkans Guarantee Facility. Western Balkan governments have proposed projects for financing in ten Flagship areas for investment. The list of these proposed projects contains many which appear reasonable and much-needed, but many others are not in line with EU policy and/or legislation and must not be funded with EU money. This briefing provides an overview of selected projects that have been nominated by governments but which are not in line with EU policy and/or legislation.
Buk Bijela dam and the Upper Drina cascade
December 13, 2021
Planned as a joint project of public utilities owned by the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, Buk Bijela on the upper Drina is being pushed forward in violation of local legislation and international conventions.
Drina dam “groundbreaking” event met by scepticism and protests
May 17, 2021
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić has today taken part in what was billed as a groundbreaking ceremony for the hotly disputed Buk Bijela dam on the upper part of the river Drina in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The event has been met by opposition from Serbia, Montenegro and BiH, as well as scepticism about the project’s readiness.
Drina hydropower plants’ impact on Montenegro cannot be ignored
May 18, 2020
Non-governmental organisations from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro on Friday submitted a complaint to the Espoo Convention on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s failure to carry out a transboundary environmental impact assessment for a series of dams planned near the Montenegrin border.
Court cancels environmental permit for Buk Bijela hydropower plant
May 30, 2019
The Banja Luka District Court has canceled the environmental permit for the planned 93 MW Buk Bijela hydropower plant on the river Drina in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Aarhus Resource Center in Sarajevo has announced today, following the court’s positive 13 May ruling on the Center’s complaint, CEE Bankwatch Network said in a press release. Court cancels environmental permit for Buk Bijela hydropower plant
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Environmental permit for Buk Bijela hydropower plant cancelled
May 30, 2019
The Banja Luka District Court has cancelled the environmental permit for the planned 93 MW Buk Bijela hydropower plant on the river Drina in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Aarhus Resource Center in Sarajevo has announced today, following the court’s positive 13 May ruling on the Center’s complaint.
EBRD tightens standards in response to Balkan hydropower boom
May 16, 2019
As a result of public resistance to small-scale hydropower projects in the Balkans, from the beginning of 2020, the EBRD will ask commercial banks to refer all high-risk projects – including all hydropower plants – for additional checks. The EBRD also requires them to meet higher environmental standards than previously. The bank will ask that such projects are disclosed to the public on the financial intermediary’s website, finally increasing disclosure on these hitherto hidden projects.
A tale of two communities successfully resisting the Balkan hydropower tsunami
July 31, 2018
Two communities in central Bosnia have had reasons to celebrate within the last few weeks as they achieved major victories in their campaigns against small hydropower plants near Fojnica and Kruscica. Bankwatch joined them to see what lies behind their success.