Today, the Secretariat published its final Policy Guidelines on small hydropower projects in the Energy Community. The document outlines guidance on the requirements to be met by small hydropower projects in relation to the Energy Community acquis in order to avoid or at least minimize their negative impacts on the environment. The Policy Guidelines also aim to respond to the growing public opposition and complaints to the Energy Community Secretariat.
The main focus of the document is on ensuring compliance with environmental assessment processes. Other relevant issues such as the effect of support schemes and State aid implications are also assessed. The Policy Guidelines are intended for use by project developers, competent national authorities and the general public. Developers should take the requirements and recommendations into account from an early stage of project development, preferably already at pre-feasibility level.
The document reflects the feedback received in the public consultation on the draft Policy Guidelines, which ran from 15 May to 15 June 2020. The summary of the public consultation and the responses received can be viewed here.