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Alpine Space needs in terms of water & energy nexus

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 31st December 2014


Within the objective of increasing the share of renewable energy sources (RES-e Directive), hydropower (HP) is still considered to be the most important source in the European Alps. On the other hand, it is proven that HP water use creates serious environmental impacts. Hydropower production influences and affects the morphological character, the hydrological regime and consequently negatively affects the aquatic biota of the aquatic ecosystem, which in many cases leads to a deterioration of the ecological status of water bodies, contradictory to the objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).

The recognized conflict between hydropower production and consequences on the aquatic ecosystem has been addressed in various projects and activities across the Alps in the past years. Nevertheless, there is still a need to harmonize objectives of water resources management, hydropower production and aquatic ecosystem conservation, hereafter termed the water-energy nexus.

To provide an overview of past and present attempts on this matter and to propose future activities in the related fields for the European Alps, the project, Alpine Space in Movement - targeted to water and energy capitalization (AIM) was granted by the Alpine Space Programme (ASP). On the basis of stakeholder discussions and the overview of relevant documents on EU, regional and local levels, the goal of the AIM project is to produce guidelines for the ASP period 2014-2020.  The core issue is to define needs related to strategic planning, cooperation among institutions/administrations and commonly agreed decision-making tools in the water-energy nexus.
To support the elaboration of the above-mentioned guidelines for the ASP programming period 2014-2020 from the aspect of the water-energy nexus, the following activities/deliverables were proposed and approved within Work Package 4 of the AIM project:

- R4.1 Database and report on the ASR needs regarding “renewable energy, resource efficiency & ecosystem management”;
- R4.2 Informative factsheet table of selected project results and achievements - with the most important tools & instruments available to stakeholders;
- R4.3 Evaluation and assessment of accomplished and foreseen results of selected projects;
- R4.4 Report on project results in terms of economic valorization of ecosystem services;
- R4.5 Database/report on weak points from the interconnection between selected project's results and ASR targets.

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