The Government of Macedonia has announced it will revoke concessions for most of the country’s small hydropower plants.
The announcement was made by Prrime Minister Zoran Zaev. He noted that quashing some of the contracts will lead to court cases and the state will have to pay damages, but that this is not an issue.
“Construction wasn’t always conducted in line with regulations. That is, nature wasn’t returned to its original state and some of the small hydropower plants don’t have a fish passage, which is intended for maintaining biodiversity at small hydropower plants. By following European regulations to the fullest, where it should be canceled, it will be canceled,” he said.
He also stated that the process is already underway and that the Shar Mountains and Popova Sapka peak are currently being turned into National Parks.
In February, he promised to cancel a concession agreement for a small HPP in the Shar Mountains as it endangered the water supply of the village of Zironvnica.
Zaev has previously stated he thinks that HPPs are environmentally friendly, which is outdated information. HPPs are no longer considered as sustainable or green, when you take into consideration the damage they do to the environment and the lack of security in water sources due to global warming.
Meanwhile, in Valbona, the construction of HPPs by GENR2 and Dragobia Energy which activists claim is illegal is threatening the livelihood and water supply of local people. This issue was also highlighted by the WWF who said that they are massacring the cultural identity, livelihood, and future of people in the area.