In Austria, which is an ideal hydropower region through its mountains and rivers, hydropower has been used for many decades as a clean and emission-free form of electricity generation. Both large and small hydropower are well established.
Hydropower is gaining wide acceptance in the population through environmentally compatible power plants. High domestic value added effects with a positive impact on regional employment (turbine construction, construction industry, subconstruction work, etc.) are achieved and lead to the fact that hydropower in Austria is firmly anchored in the regional economy.
While about one fifth of the energy demand is generated from clean water power worldwide, Austrian hydropower accounts for about 2/3 of the total energy demand. Approximately 3,000 small-scale hydropower plants feed about 6 ter- tonne hours of electricity into the electricity grid, thereby helping to save around 6 million tonnes of CO2 that would be produced by fossil fuels. Small power plants generate more than 10% of electricity in Austria.