WWF Mediterranean firstname.lastname@example.org
Programme Office www.panda.org/mediterranean
Via Po 25/c
00198 Rome, Italy
Hydropower in the Dinaric Arc (Western Balkans)
Key facts & figures1
Regional issues and trends
Scarcity of conventional sources of energy (petroleum, coal and gas).
Poor management and high loss of energy due to inefficient generation, transmission and distribution
Lower energy consumption than OECD Europe in total terms, but 60 per cent higher energy intensity due
to obsolete infrastructure.
Many countries rely on imports to cover their full energy consumption needs.
Significant hydropower potential (steep canyons, fast-flowing rivers, high precipitation levels under
normal conditions) only partly exploited (see EBRD graph below).
Hydropower represents a significant share of electricity consumption in the region (at least 43 per cent in
2004) (see IEA graph below).
All countries also have significant solar and wind energy potential, not yet explored, nor exploited.
Energy efficiency is very low due to obsolete generation, transmission and distribution systems,
improving these could allow for considerable savings.
(IEA = International Energy Agency)
National Strategy for Energy of Albania, Part 1, Chap. 1.6., p. 18 http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTALBANIA/Resources/Part_I-National_Strategy_of_Energy_(Eng).pdf
M. Schneider-Jacoby, U. Schwarz, P. Sackl, D. Dhora, D. Saveljic and B. Stumberger (2006): Rapid assessment of the Ecological Value of the Bojana-Buna Delta (Albania/Montenegro), Euronatur, Radolfzell
Energy Development Strategy of the Republic of Montenegro by 2025 – Green Paper prepared by IREET, Ljubljana, 2007
The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the Draft Energy Strategy in Republic of Montenegro, UNDP, 2007
Montenegro Ministry for Economic Development, Invitation for Expressions of Interest for Hydropower plants on the River Moraca http://www.minekon.vlada.cg.yu
Page 2 of 2
- Albania’s electricity output comes entirely from hydropower (see IEA graph above).
- Only 70-80 per cent of the energy demand is covered by both domestic production and imports.
- Albania’s hydropower potential is considered as important, only approximately 50 per cent of it is
- Construction of two additional hydropower plants planned on the Drin River (the Ashta, a 50 MW
run-of-river hydropower plant, and the Skavica on the Diber river in North-Eastern Albania, at the
head of the Drin River cascade).
- A hydropower dam is also planned at Bushat, on the Buna-Bojana River, downstream from Lake
Skadar (NB: project not supported by the local communities, civil society and scientists because of its
significant expected impacts on the Lake Skadar ecosystem).
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)
- BiH has a very good potential for hydro development, but also for biomass production, solar energy
and potentially sources of thermal energy.
- Only about 39 per cent of its hydro potential is currently exploited (see EBRD graph above).
- Hydropower represents more than 40 per cent of BiH’s current energy output (see IEA graph above).
- Total hydropower potential of BiH is mostly located within the Drina, Neretva and Trebisnjica river
- BiH has serious plans, strongly opposed by environmental pressure groups, to allow foreign investors
to build several more dams in the upper stream of the Neretva River as well as on other rivers.
- BiH has plans to become a regional energy hub, with a surplus for export.
- Hydropower is traditionally the most exploited renewable energy resource in the country.
- 50 per cent of Croatia’s energy output comes from hydropower (see IEA graph above).
- The share of hydropower generation capacity is 51 per cent of total installed capacity.
- Construction of a new hydropower plant at Lešce started in 2006 (NB: project meeting fierce
opposition of a number of the environmental non-governmental organizations).
- Two other hydropower plants planned in Podsused and Drenje, of 215 and 185GWh, respectively, are
scheduled to be finished by 2010.
- Even small hydropower plant projects in Croatia are confronted with strong public resistance due to
increased environmental awareness.
- Energy generation in Montenegro almost entirely depends on hydro (80 per cent) and thermal power
facilities (20 per cent) (see IEA graph above).
- Hydropower potential is significant; other potential sources of renewable energy not yet well explored
are solar and geothermal, while the situation regarding biomass or wind potential remains unclear.
- Montenegro plans (see recent Energy Strategy) in addition to improvements in energy efficiency in
the public administration and industry sector, to develop several new hydropower plants, among
which four new dams on the Morača River upstream of Lake Skadar to be built by 2015 (NB: highly
controversial project criticized in a Strategic Environmental Assessment conducted under the auspices
of UNDP). The call for tender was published by the Montenegrin Government in 2008.