Study: Hydroelectric power popular — but underused — in Europe

Hydroelectric power remains a significant component in Europe’s energy transition, according to a survey completed by research agency TNS Emnid on behalf of Voith Hydro.

The study polled 600 energy experts from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden — 80% of whom “are of the opinion that hydropower is playing a key role in fighting against climate change already today”, Voith said.

The experts — comprised of economic, trade and environmental association, utility, power authority members and others — said more could be done to promoted hydroelectricity, with 63% of Germany respondents saying hydropower’s growth is being stunted by political inaction.

“The potential of hydropower is far from being fully exploited,” Voith Hydro Germany board member Heike Bergman said. “Therefore, it is time to bring this technology to energy policy focus again.”

Hydropower — particularly pumped-storage — becomes even more important, Bergman said, as many European companies look toward increasing their wind and solar generating fleets.

“Hydropower is essential for the success of an economically and ecologically worthwhile energy transition,” Bergman said. “On this account we plead for a new European dialogue about the future of hydropower.”

Other data collected by TNS Enmid shows 96% of those surveyed support hydropower for its low carbon-dioxide emissions, 92% for its ecological friendliness, 95% for its reliability, 88% for its reliability and 83% for its long-term profitability.

Full results of the study are available at


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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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