Hydroelectric Power Plant in Europe and Eurosia


Hydroelectric Power Plant in Europe and Eurosia
Harnessing the Power of Water: Hydroelectric Plants in Europe and Eurasia

Nestled amidst the majestic mountains and sprawling rivers of Europe and Eurasia, lie thousands of hydroelectric power plants, humming away day and night. 

These titans of green energy harness the power of rushing water to generate electricity, serving as a beacon of hope in the fight against climate change.

A History of Hydropower:

The story of hydropower in Europe and Eurasia dates back centuries. Early waterwheels powered mills and workshops, providing a glimpse into the potential of this renewable resource. As technology advanced, so did the scale and sophistication of hydroelectric power plants. Iconic projects like the Hoover Dam in the United States and the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River, inspired engineers across the continent to dream big.

The Landscape of Hydropower Today:

Today, Europe and Eurasia boast a diverse landscape of hydroelectric plants, ranging from small run-of-the-river facilities to colossal dams spanning entire valleys. Norway, Switzerland, and Austria are leaders in hydroelectricity, with over 90% of their electricity generated from this clean source. In other countries like Portugal, France, and Russia, hydropower plays a vital role in the energy mix, providing reliable and low-carbon electricity.

Challenges and Opportunities:

Despite its numerous benefits, hydropower also faces challenges. Environmental concerns regarding the impact on river ecosystems and displacement of communities necessitate careful planning and responsible implementation. Balancing energy generation with ecological considerations is key to ensuring sustainable hydropower development.

Statistics of Hydroelectric Power Plant in Europe and Eurosia

Hydroelectric Power Plant Statistics in Europe and Eurasia: A Data Dive

Europe and Eurasia are home to a vast network of hydroelectric power plants, playing a significant role in generating clean and renewable energy. Let's delve into some key statistics that paint a picture of this impressive infrastructure:

Installed Capacity:

  • Total Capacity: As of 2023, Europe and Eurasia boast an installed hydroelectric capacity of over 380 Gigawatts (GW), representing around 10% of the global total.
  • Regional Leaders: Norway leads the pack with over 32 GW, followed by France (16 GW), Russia (11 GW), Switzerland (10 GW), and Austria (9 GW).
  • Distribution: Hydropower penetration varies greatly across the region. Countries like Norway and Switzerland rely heavily on hydropower, exceeding 90% of their electricity generation. Others like Portugal, France, and Russia have significant percentages but also rely on other energy sources.


  • Annual Production: In 2022, Europe and Eurasia generated about 2,200 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity from hydropower, accounting for roughly 17% of the region's total electricity production.
  • Variability: Hydropower generation depends heavily on rainfall and water flow, leading to seasonal fluctuations. Spring and early summer often witness peak production, while droughts and winters can cause dips.
  • Impact on Renewables: Hydropower plays a crucial role in balancing the grid and integrating other renewable sources like solar and wind. Its ability to store and release energy on demand helps compensate for the intermittent nature of these renewables.

Plant Size and Distribution:

  • Mega-Dams: While iconic large dams like the Three Gorges in China capture the imagination, most hydropower plants in Europe and Eurasia are smaller scale. Over 80% have a capacity below 10 MW, and only a few dozen exceed 1,000 MW.
  • Run-of-the-River vs. Storage: Many plants are "run-of-the-river," utilizing the natural flow of waterways without significant reservoirs. Others are "storage" plants, creating large dams to store water and regulate its release for generation.
  • Geographical Spread: Hydropower plants are scattered across the region, with concentrations in the Alps, Nordic countries, Russia, and along major rivers like the Danube, Volga, and Dnieper.

Economic and Social Impact:

  • Job Creation: Hydropower plants provide direct and indirect employment opportunities in construction, operation, maintenance, and related industries.
  • Community Development: In remote areas, hydropower projects can bring electricity access, infrastructure development, and economic benefits to local communities.
  • Environmental Considerations: While generally clean, hydropower also has environmental impacts, such as disrupting river ecosystems and displacing communities. Balancing energy generation with ecological and social responsibility is crucial.

These statistics highlight the significance of hydroelectric power in Europe and Eurasia, its contribution to clean energy production, and the challenges and opportunities it presents. Understanding these numbers is essential for informed discussions about the future of energy in the region and the role hydropower can play in a sustainable future.

Hydroelectric Power Plant in Europe and Eurosia

Table of Hydroelectric Power Plant in Europe and Eurosia

Here is Table of Hydroelectric Power Plant in Europe and Eurosia by Country

Table of Hydroelectric Power Plants in Europe and Eurasia by Country (Top 5 per country)

This table lists the top 5 hydroelectric power plants by installed capacity for each country in Europe and Eurasia (as of 2023). Please note that data availability and ranking may vary slightly depending on sources.

CountryPower PlantCapacity (MW)Year of ConstructionRiver
BelarusVitebsk3411974Western Dvina
Bosnia and HerzegovinaGrančarevo2181984Trebišnjica
BulgariaBatak Dam3361959Batak Reservoir
CroatiaPeruča Dam6101968Cetina
CyprusKouris881985Kouris River
Czech RepublicDlouhé Stráně16401975Vltava
DenmarkTange851979Skive Fjord
EstoniaNarva881955Narva River
FranceGrand Coulee Dam32861967Columbia River
GeorgiaEnguri Dam24001988Enguri River
GermanySchluchsee Dam3161932Schluchsee
GreeceAcheloos5121954Acheloos River
HungaryKisköreös1871974Tisza River
IcelandKárahnjúkar6922009Jökulsá á Brú
IrelandArdnacrusha2001929River Shannon
ItalyVal di Chiavenna13751962Fiume Mera
KazakhstanBukhtarma Dam32721979Irtysh River
KyrgyzstanToktogul Dam12001975Naryn River
KosovoGazivode Dam2701971Drini i Bardhë
LatviaDaugavpils3121979Daugava River
LiechtensteinSamina751933Samina River
LithuaniaKaunas Hydroelectric Power Plant3001959Nemunas River

Note: This table only includes a small selection of the many hydroelectric power plants in Europe and Eurasia.

Looking ahead, advancements in technology and innovative approaches offer promising opportunities. Pumped storage hydropower, which uses excess electricity to pump water uphill for later generation, can create flexible energy systems and integrate other renewables like solar and wind. Small-scale hydropower projects can provide clean energy solutions for remote communities, fostering energy independence and economic development.

The Future of Hydropower:

As the world transitions towards a low-carbon future, hydropower remains a crucial player in the energy landscape of Europe and Eurasia. By addressing environmental concerns, embracing technological advancements, and prioritizing responsible development, this renewable energy source can continue to power homes, industries, and economies while preserving the natural beauty of the region.

Call to Action:

Investing in research and development, implementing stricter environmental regulations, and promoting community engagement are essential steps towards ensuring the responsible and sustainable future of hydropower in Europe and Eurasia. By working together, we can harness the power of water to meet our energy needs without compromising the health of our planet or the well-being of its people.