On behalf of Voith Hydro, the research agency TNS Emnid has conducted an expert survey on the significance of hydropower technology for the European energy transition (“Energiewende”).
80% of the interviewed experts are of the opinion that hydropower is playing a key role in fighting against climate change already today. The study substantiates clearly, that technology holds great potential for the future of Europe. In Germany, however, this potential cannot be fully realized: 63% think, that hydropower is not being promoted sufficiently by politics.
“The potential of hydropower is far from being fully exploited. Therefore it is time to bring this technology to energy policy focus again,” says Heike Bergman, Member of the Board of Management of Voith Hydro Germany, “future-oriented use of hydropower not only includes application of cutting edge technology, but also the coordinated transnational operation of energy storage plants, and thus the stabilization of the European electricity grid.
No optimum supply from wind and solar without hydropower
In all the five countries in which the study was conducted, the interviewed experts unanimously affirmed the low carbon dioxide emissions (96%) and the eco friendliness (92%) of hydropower. At the same time they attested hydropower plants reliability as well as stability (95%), high efficiency (88%) and long term profitability (83%). In the European context the good capability of storage (84%) plays a significant role. Pumped storage plants can quickly balance fluctuations in the electric grid, caused by the increasing supply of wind and solar power. They facilitate storage of surplus energy from the grid and thus the optimal utilization of wind and solar – even across national borders.
„Hydropower is essential for the success of an economically and ecologically worthwhile energy transition“, Bergmann comments. “The transnational operation serves safe-guarding energy supply and grid stability. On this account we plead for a new European dialogue about the future of hydropower.”
About the study
The research agency TNS Emnid has, on behalf of Voith, interviewed 600 European experts about the significance of hydropower for the energy transition. The study is based on a qualitative telephone survey among energy experts from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway. The experts are representatives of economic, trade and environmental associations, of energy utilities, of power authorities and energy policy institutions as well as journalists.