A study carried out on behalf of Voith Hydro has found that hydropower technology is playing a key role in the fight against climate change and has great potential in Europe, as long as it is promoted sufficiently.

The survey of 600 energy experts from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden conducted by research agency TNS Emnid for Voith showed that 80% agreed that hydropower was already helping to combat climate change.

In Germany however, the respondents believed that the full potential of hydropower cannot be fully realized, with 63% suggesting that hydro is not being promoted sufficiently by politicians.

"The potential of hydropower is far from being fully exploited. Therefore it is time to bring this technology to energy policy focus again," said Heike Bergmann, 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."

In all five countries in which the study was conducted, experts unanimously affirmed the low carbon dioxide emissions (96%) and the eco friendliness (92%) of hydropower. At the same time they attested the reliability of hydropower plants as well as stability (95%), high efficiency (88%) and long-term profitability (83%). The importance of pumped storage projects was also emphasized, with 84% stating that it will play a significant role in the future, while 90% thought that the modernization and expansion of existing projects should be at the forefront of development,

"Hydropower is essential for the success of an economically and ecologically worthwhile energy transition," Bergmann commented. "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."

Background information and graphics on the results, in German, can be found at www.wasserkraft.info.