Austrian hydropower expansion hits opposition

Green groups have criticised plans by Austria’s energy sector to increase the country’s hydropower capacity by 45% by building 60 new stations. Many of the projects would impose a heavy ecological burden, the NGOs said.

Last month the Austrian parliament approved a plan to increase the government's share in state-owned utility firm Verbund by €510m to help finance new hydropower stations. Austria already produces 60% of electricity from hydropower - one of the highest shares in Europe. Plans to expand the sector were revived in 2008 after a standstill following public protests in 1984.

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