I know that this isnt in the EU but I thought it was very interesting and worth writing about the potential effects of building any type of renewable energy without careful environmental impact assessments, and environmental analysis before such a project is developed.
As the title and picture clearly illustrate the reservoir of the newly built 4.8MW Aleo Electric Project-2 (2km from Manali, in the Himachal Pradesh state of Northern India) burst as the 12,000 cubic meter capacity reservoir was filled for the first time since construction.
The local villagers have claimed that the reservoir was constructed on land previously used as the dumping site for the 192MW ADHLP power project- http://www.snpower.com/projects-and-plants/india/allain-duhangan/
This clearly illustrates that although the generation of renewable electricity should be encouraged, detailed and developed environmental impact assessments and carefully planned projects must go hand in hand with one another. More info on this story can be found at- http://hillpost.in/2014/01/small-hydropower-reservoir-in-manali-bursts-on-testing/97539/
This news although deeply worrying for many will provide a clear argument for those green activists who have been opposing hydro-power projects within the Himachal Pradesh region of Northern India. This will provide added food for thought if coupled with the argument that wrong development models of hydro-power projects are the cause of natural disasters such as the devastating floods that struck Uttarakhand and Kinnaur in June of last year. There is yet strong conclusive evidence to prove this but it is something to seriously consider when in the development stage of such projects. More information can be found here
This also comes coupled with the news on the 20th January 2014 that the Norwegian government has expressed a willingness to invest in hydro-power applications in the Himachal Pradesh region. More information can be found at-
It will be interesting to see whether these recent developments may deter such future investments. I hope not, I do not feel that this should discourage the development of small hydro-power to generate renewable energy. But rather encourage the careful development and ensure detailed environmental impact assessments are carried out to make sure that these setbacks do not result in endangering the lives of those that live in close proximity of such projects. As in the long run that will only cloud people’s perceptions of the renewable energy sector (and rightly so, if it means the catastrophic loss of life!) Which is one of the largest challenges facing the renewable energy sector and it progression to reach energy targets in the future.