This paper analysis the use of renewable energy sources (RES) dedicated mainly for electricity generation in the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Hydropower sector including both large (medium) and small power plants is particularly considered. The region has very limited energy resources of its own and is heavily dependent on the import of the primary energy sources (in some way except Estonia). The main objective of energy policy of the Baltic countries is to reduce such a total dependence by favouring the use of RES. A brief description of energy sector is given, focusing on electricity generation. RES potential currently in use and to be exploited in the future, is discussed. The countries 'targets broken down according to the individual RES to meet the EU "green" electricity directive (2001/77/ CE) are presented. Small and large hydropower potential is analyzed, a general overview of hydroplants in operation and planned schemes is provided. A particular attention is devoted to environmental and social aspects of hydropower development. The requirements of the protected areas in relation to dam construction are analyzed, an estimation of resistance to small hydropower development is shown. The environmental legislation including forbidden rivers for damming actually in force in the Baltic countries is considered; hydropower image perceptible by general public, NGOs and official environmental bodies are discussed. The causes and legal basis of the promulgation of the list of forbidden rivers are revealed. A conclusion is drawn that the contradiction between two EU legal frameworks - environmental protection and promotion of renewables, in the case of hydropower, exists. The evaluation of the quantitative impact of the forbidden rivers on hydropower resources in Lithuania proves the environmental legislation is one of the strictest in the European countries.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology