Hydropower is a renewable energy source that plays an important role in the global energy production and in the mitigation of climate change. But hydropower is also one of the technologies which are most destructive for freshwater ecosystems.
Finding the balance between the energy needs and the conservation of key natural habitats is possible only if stringent standards of sustainability are applied. On one hand the most important ecosystems should be declared as hydropower “NO-GO” areas. On the other hand, the design of dams and their location should be relatively benign for the environment with mitigation measures implemented. The hydropower plant on the Spöl River is just such an example.