Today’s industrialized world has become extremely dependent on sustainable
energy and demands supply at affordable prices. The world’s population is in exponentially
increasing and the demand for energy constantly increasing especially in
developing countries. In more, the scarcity of fossil fuels is fundamentally
responsible for the increased costs. With these concerns in mind, hydroelectricity is a very tempting
alternative especially given easy use and apparent lack of carbon dioxide
emissions.

Notwithstanding, when the total environmental and social impacts are
included, the hydroelectricity might not be an appropriate solution to meet the
future energy needs. In Albania, the risks of an immediate and fundamental problem is eminent
because the majority of the rural population depends either directly or
indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Indeed the Albania’s ecosystem already afford the
historically relied in hydropower plants. Nerveless, in the last year GoA has seen as a priority the further investing on hydropower electricity production. In specific, there are
given new permission for around 500 new projects. Thus,
a heavy reliance of hydropower may be good for reducing greenhouse gas
emissions and improving air quality in Albania in general, but it can reverse
all the side effect to effect to the local community directly relate with the place.

There are many drawbacks and
concerns associated with hydroelectric dams: loss of land, relocation of
animals and humans, change in ecosystems, as well as safety. Especially the Hydroelectric
dams require large quantities of water, which greatly reduce the liveable land
for both humans and animals. Then a sound policy must determine whether or not
it would make sense to build hydroelectric dams and all possible factors, not
necessarily limited to the above mentioned examples must be considered.

In regard, the Environment and Social Management Plan
(ESMP) normally comprise all social and environmental mitigation measures. The
ESMP outlines DHP’s commitments to the environment and Project Affected
Households/Persons (PAP and PAHs) in relation to mitigating project impacts and
promoting project development opportunities. The Plan summarize impacts,
outlines policy and other overarching issues, and provides a general framework
for resettlement, livelihood restoration, regional development and
environmental initiatives.

The alternative of what here above are
multiple and of course the calculation include a multiple and complex effect.
Normally they have to base in the so-called Analysis of the Cost Benefit (CBA). Regard
the Albania they first of all have to go from the benefit of the distribution
generation for renewable energy which include: wind; solar; geothermal and
biomass and biogas energies. A great potential stand also in the efficiency and
the side demand management (SDM).

In same time, in the last years,
the country has been involved by in the process of build-up interconnection: a process to be completed within
2 or 3 next years. An electrical interconnection line with Kosovo is already in
work and another with Macedonia will be ready the next year. Not far away seem also
the one with Italy or the country can already in that between Montenegro and
Italy when it will be ready. These interconnection can be seen as a possibility
to slow down the build of new generation capacity (mainly in hydro) but also an
incentive for the accelerate the plans for the new hydroelectric power plants.
The establishment of TAP project is also a momentum for Albania since it is
also completed with a master plan for the gasification of the country.

Therefore, a research and following
related activity will aim to offer options about the risks and realizing
opportunities that will bring the build-up of all the new hydropower planed. In
one hand to demonstrate, the other solutions that increase resilience to future
environment change and related effect to the local community (even keeping a
limit greenhouse gas emissions for all the country), on the other hand what the
above project would offer for the ongoing development of sector and economy of
the country. The goal of the research should help the country mainstream to
adapt the changes in policies programs and investments.

The
here communication came within the framework of the
international project on Adapting to Climate Change, developed as a local
partner by the ACERC. In cases of interest to the directly cooperation as
author with analyses or for any kind of involvement or support as well as a
partner, contact us at the info@albaniaenergy.org. For more keep update with
the EU & WBs / Albania Energy Investments Updates
or visit the Official
Page of ACERC
.