EC Policy Guidelines – Small hydropower projects

The Energy Community Secretariat published the Policy Guidelines – Small hydropower projects. This document is intended for all member-countries, primarily the ones from the Western Balkans. This document shall be useful to the developers of SHPP projects, as well as to the authorized institutions and general public.

During the last several years a certain public dissatisfaction with the construction of SHPPs was evident in several EC member-countries. This dissatisfaction was not reflected only in protests in public, but also in grievance directed towards the EC.

Therefore, one of the goals of the Guidelines is also the harmonization of the SHPP construction process with the environmental impact assessment procedures, with the objective of abatement of adverse impacts of this construction upon the environment.

The Guidelines also handle some other important topics, primarily the ones related to SHPP financing, i.e. incentives. The Guidelines were adopted after their draft version was the subject of public consultations in duration of one month, and during that period a number of comments and suggestions has been received, coming mostly from NGOs.

Important Steps Towards the Construction of the “Komarnica” HPP Taken

Komarnica River

The Government of Montenegro adopted a document titled “The Plan for Award of Concessions for Use of Watercourses for Hydropower Plant Construction in Montenegro for 2020“. This plan envisages the construction of only one concession, the one for construction of the “Komarnica” HPP on eponymous river. Apart from this, for 2020 the Government does not plan to award a concession for construction of any other hydropower plant, large or small.

Regarding small hydro, Government’s position is that further construction of small hydropower plants in Montenegro should not be encouraged. In case of large HPPs, Government’s opinion is that the construction of any large hydropower plant is a complex process, and that simultaneous realization of such projects in not desirable.

The Government also adopted the proposed issuing of the document titled “Detailed Spatial Plan of the Area Occupied by the Multi-Purpose Reservoir on the Komarnica River”. The General Director of the Directorate for Spatial Planning in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Ms. Marina Izgarevic Pavicevic, had during the media conference organized following the Meeting of the Governmental session announced that, in order to make this planning document compatible with all aspects of environmental protection, a decision was made to prepare a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment in accordance with the Law on Strategic Assessment.

She also pointed out that this spatial plan was submitted for the Governmental adoption procedure in a completely transparent manner and that public participation and prior public discussion have been provided. The chosen technical solution has no impact upon the Nevidio canyon and the settlement of Savnik.