In-depth | Environment

The Kosovo hydropower boom — explained

By - 31.01.2020

Water, the resource that sustains life, is at the heart of a conflict in Kosovo. 

The boom of hydropower plant construction in recent years has brought citizens out to protest in villages across the country, especially in the Bjeshket e Nemuna and Sharri national parks. While hydropower energy has tended to be considered “green,” citizens aren’t buying that and local opposition toward it has grown. 

So, we wanted to pause and ask: Why? And how? What is the real impact of the hydropower industry in Kosovo, and why has it grown so much in recent years? How does it work and how does it impact nature and society? And especially, if Kosovo is to produce renewable energy through the country’s rivers — at what cost? 

In this video explainer, we sum up the main concerns and key information about the hydropower boom in Kosovo, after talking to citizens, experts, politicians and activists. 

And if you’re interested in this topic, stay tuned for a larger story on the issue that we will publish on K2.0 in the upcoming weeks. K

Additional Sources:

Hydropower Plants in Kosovo – Their Problems and Their Real Potential (Balkan Green Foundation, 2019)

Western Balkans Hydropower – Who Pays? Who Profits? (CEE Bankwatch Network, 2019)

Rationale behind the small hydropower plants in the Lepenci River Basin – (Gjethi, 2017)

National Renewable Energy Action Plan 2011-2020 

Energy Strategy of the Republic of Kosovo 2017-2026



Research, script and narration: Cristina Marí

Script editing: Jack Butcher

Design and animation: Kokrra 

Video editing and camera: Matthieu Jouffre

Music: Liburn Jupolli

Sound: Studio 11 Prishtinë