Gjendja e përgjithshme
As of the data of end 2017 there were:
- 183 concession agreements signed by the government
- 524 hydropower plants (HPP) will be constructed
- 177 hpp are already operational and licensed by the Energy Regulatory Entity (ERE)
- 43 hpp are under construction
- 364 others are planned by the energy ministry
According to expert opinions the development of HPP is strongly led by the energy demand and the increase of private investments, backed by financial incentives such as feed in tariffs, but this was not accompanied by the government regulated standards and rules. Unsolicited proposals approach has attracted small investors often with a lack of capacities for implementing HPP projects such as; financial resources and know‐how, resulting in investment delays, failures and adverse environmental consequences. On the other hand governmental institutions do lack a reliable system for quality verification of environmental information presented in the project proposal is not in place. In most of the cases the construction permit is provided without an environmental permit issuing, breaching thus the laws in place.
A cost‐effective analysis or a cost‐benefit analysis taken into account environmental losses is not performed during the approval of HPPs so external value losses due to environmental degradation, water scarcity or revenue loss from tourism and fishery are not taken into consideration. The current development of the HPP is conflicting with the objectives of biodiversity protection set out in the National Strategic Policy for the Protection of Biodiversity in Albania 2015‐2020. This unbalanced development of HPP is expected to result in adverse consequences such as:
- loss of habitats and biodiversity species,
- water scarcity
The current development practice is not in line with several international agreements regarding environmental protection that Albania is a signatory of. Consultations with the stakeholders during concession phases is not undertaken. The consulting the local governance and community during the concession or development consent phase is mostly nonexistent, although the laws on Right to Information and the on Notification and Public Consultation are adopted.).
The consultation process starts only during the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure, but the procedure itself is very formal and not effective enough to influence the project design. In most of the cases the respective national legislation for public consultation during the environmental decision making is either ignored or infringed.
Ndikimet në mjedis
Prona dhe të drejtat mbi pronën
One of the most neglected topic in the HPP development is usage and occupation of public land. In most of the cases HPP operators did occupied huger areas in the mountains and do not allow passing of the villagers/ tourists/ people. The grazing of the livestock in this cases is affected.
Përdorimi i fondeve publike
According to the “Open Data”, energy sector entail 75% of the total concessionary value with a figure of 379.4 billiard Albanian Leke.
Development of the HPP have a high effect in ichthyofauna, especially when fish passes are not considered in the HPP. In most of the constructed HPP there was no such passes constructed. The real biodiversity effects that lack of fishes cannot be evaluated from the spot, but the experience from EU countries shows that lack of ichthyofaunal leads to decrease of biodiversity.
Based on the data collected in the field visits there is an increased concerned of the local population with regards to water usage for agriculture. This aspect is not properly dealt with in EIA. Already, most conflicts regarding hydropower in Albania concern water use rights Water use rights is the main cause of conflict regarding hydropower in Albania
HPPs developments brings changes in the landscape value thus influencing directly the touristic development. Such impact cannot be valorizes, but the case of Valbona dispute the impact has been evident. International community and tourists are supporting the litigation cases.
Përdorimi i ujërave
Most of the HPP projects can affect irrigation process and potable water usage. This aspect is not analyzed/ neglected during in the EIA. Especially in the long pipe HPP developments this effect is prominent.
Ndryshimet në nivelin e rrjedhjeve të ujërave
Changes on the water flow levels cause cumulative negative impacts on riverine biota. In most of the cases in Albania the set of the Environmental flow is not respected. The Mati river constructed HPP there has been cases of dry river bed reported.
Furnizimi i ujërave nëntokësorë
It is not clear the effect of the planned HPP in the ground water recharge. Analysis is missing and there is not national institution or academia dealing with these effects. Examples from the EU countries have shown that the impact might be significant, especially the cumulative one.
The total length of rivers is affected by water deviation (from intake point to the powerhouse and release point). The rivers hydromorphology changes by causing significant changes in river flow and water level. This is extremely important in the dam HPP developments.
Shkarkimi i sedimenteve
This is also an impact that is totally neglected and not researched. Blocking of the sediment transport in the river influence the sediment reach into the sea which then cannot create or keep the balance of coastal erosion with sediments.
Peizazhi dhe trahëgimia natyrore
Most of the constructed HPP have caused a landscape damage (cut of the trees, gravel extraction, construction wastes thrown in the environment and erosion). The natural heritage of most intervention sites is reported damaged.