Small not beautiful for German hydropower

Environment agency warns of high environmental impacts, calls for focus on larger plants

Hydroelectric power generation in Germany can cause significant environmental damage even though it nominally produces "green" electricity, the country's environment agency has warned. The body says smaller plants cause disproportionate disruption. It is recommending no new construction of facilities under 1 megawatt capacity and no restarting of any that have been decommissioned.

Hydropower remains Germany's largest source of renewable energy despite the rapid rise of the country's wind power industry in recent years. It currently contributes about 4% of national electricity consumption.

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