How electricity is generated from the power of nature
There are about 450 hydropower plants in North Rhine-Westphalia, which together generate 588 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year. This corresponds to the average annual consumption of 170,000 three-person households. About half of the electricity is generated by dams. The potential in North Rhine-Westphalia is thus already largely utilised.
In restructuring North Rhine-Westphalia’s energy system, the priority in hydropower is therefore to safeguard existing capacities and ensure supply security through flexible operation. Repowering, i.e. renewing old plants or reactivating old sites, can create additional capacities in the existing portfolio. It is important that the EU Water Framework Directive and the impact on water and nature conservation are taken into account in the measures for expansion.
The NRW State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection provides an overview of hydropower in North Rhine-Westphalia in the NRW Hydropower Potential Study. NRW.Energy4Climate supports the goal of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia to secure and modernise the portfolio of hydropower plants while respecting the requirements of water ecology and to develop previously unused potential.