SP 5 : Social acceptance, engagement and policy

Facing the challenge of climate change, the required energy transition towards “going green” gives hydropower a new, increasingly important role as a system enabler by providing flexibility to the envisioned system. This transition requires new forms of governance and policies that include environmental and socio-economic perspectives and valuation of costs and benefits on different temporal and spatial scales, and it depends on public support and citizen engagement. The need and challenge to balance environmental, economic, and social concerns becomes even more important for hydropower in this new role.

Protests against Hydropower in the Balkans in July 2019. Photo : Facebook/Save the Blue Heart of Europe

SP5 aims to find solutions and answers related to sustainable policymaking, effective cross-border regulation, social acceptance and stakeholder engagement, with regard to this new role of hydropower in the European renewable energy transition. To maximize the benefits of hydropower in a low carbon energy system, policymakers require a better understanding of possible ways and methods to balance the environmental, economic, and social concerns of hydropower production. It is therefore an objective of this SP to improve the knowledge base for policymakers, project developers, hydropower companies and the public concerning planning, deployment and social acceptance of hydropower infrastructure. 


Protest against Hydropower in Belgrade. Photo: Radomir Duvnjak 



Berrit kohler

SP 5 Coordinator :

Berit Köhler, NINA

Email : Berit.Kohler@nina.no




Patrick Hendrick


SP 5 Vice-Coordinator

Patrick Hendrick, BERA 

Email : patrick.hendrick@ulb.ac.be