Problems | Obstacles

Hydropower Stations and Dams

The use of hydroelectrical energy is always connected with a profound transformation of the rivers.

Dams without functioning fish passes provide an insurmountable obstacle for migratory fishes. By such dams they are cut off from their spawning grounds and are thus at risk of extinction. Young Salmon and Sea Trout that migrate downstream into the sea are sometimes injured or even killed by the turbines of hydropower stations.

That also happens to adult eels on their way to their spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea, as well as to many other species. That happens at each hydropower plant on their long journey to the sea.

Weirs and other dams alter the character of the affected section of the water body. The flow rate drops drastically. The oxygen content is reduced and sometimes the river bed will be covered with a thick layer of mud. . For aquatic species that have adapted to life in a river, those water sections are no longer available as a habitat As a result there is a drastic reduction of biodiversity and the number of fish living there.

Fish passes are built to give fish a possibility to avoid the deadly obstacle. However, many of those fish passes do not work sufficiently for the fish. Until today, there are no technical solutions that avoid the harmful effects for the fish completely.

It is therefore important to use the best available technical standard of fishways and still consider whether a comparably small energetical or financial benefit of an individual justifies the destruction of an entire habitat and of its numerous creatures Deplorably enough, hydropower from hydroelectric power plants is no "green energy" .