Environmental approach within hydropower
Hydropower is renewable and produces no emissions of greenhouse gases. When hydropower was built it affected the local ecosystems in and around the rivers. At Fortum we actively implement projects aimed at mitigating this effect, whilst recognizing the importance of hydropower when combating climate change. Implementing the right action in the right place is crucial to achieve the desired outcome.
Hydropower is a clean and renewable energy source
Producing energy from hydroelectric power plants is a renewable and efficient way of producing energy. It produces no emissions of greenhouse gases and as such it is one of the most important energy forms that we have in the battle against climate change. Since there are no fuels in hydropower there is no waste and no emissions of harmful substances either.
In addition, hydropower gives the opportunity to store energy in the water reservoirs, which is crucial to meet the demands of the renewable power sources that cannot be regulated, such as wind and solar. When the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine we can use hydropower, and when we get energy from wind we can store hydropower. This means that the more hydropower we have the more wind power we can build.
Construction of hydropower changed the nature of the watercourse
The environmental impacts caused by hydropower production are always local and are well known. Hydropower production and regulation change the range and rhythm of the water level and the flow rate in water systems compared to their natural state. Some rivers have been affected for centuries, long before hydroelectric dams.
Hydropower plant dams are barriers for the migration of fish and other fauna, but on the other hand storage of water to the reservoirs diversifies the recreational use of the water system. Regulation of the water system also has local positive effects. Regulation can effectively prevent flooding of the river. When designing new hydropower plants and renovating old ones, mitigating environmental impacts is always taken into account.