Hydro Power Plants

Due to the mountainous terrain of the WB6 countries, the hydro-potential for the Balkan countries is high, especially in the western part and in Albania where rainfall is higher. There are concerns for the overuse of the water resources in the Balkan region and hydro-power plants being built in protected areas, particularly in national parks. Electricity produced from hydropower is important for the WB6 countries as it comprises a significant part of their energy mix, except for Kosovo where hydropower contributes around 4% of the total electricity produced. Total installed hydropower capacity for the WB6 countries in 2016 was 8489.75 MW. Hydropower is important especially for Albania where practically all the generated electricity in the country is derived from hydro-electric power plants, followed in order of importance that hydro plays in their electricity production, by: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. One major issue that concerns the use of hydro-power for electricity production is the seasonal fluctuation in production, and the variability of rainfall, that can have a great impact on the yearly production of electricity in many countries that are dependent on hydro, particularly Albania. The WB6 countries provide feed-in tariffs for small hydropower at an average of 74.6 euros per MWh produced, so as to incentivize more capacities being built from this source, though it’s among the lowest feed-in tariffs for renewables, usually the bigger the capacity the smaller the guaranteed tariff is.