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Certification for HydrO: Improving Clean Energy (CH2OICE)

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The proposed action (duration: 09/2008 – 02/2011) aims at developing a technically and economically feasible certification procedure for hydro power generation facilities of high environmental standard, being explicitly coherent with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive, to be implemented in "green labelled" electricity products, and being integrated, as much as possible, with existing EU tools, such as Ecolabel, EMAS, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Sustainable Energy Action (SEA). This includes developing and testing an operational methodology which aims to be implemented in a marketable product, and a set of guidelines to be used by decision makers during planning and authorization procedures and by plants proposers. Partner countries are Italy, Slovenia, France, Spain and Slovakia. In the long run, the project is expected to have a positive impact on hydro power generation in Europe, focusing on the conception of new plants towards more sustainable solutions and making the authorization procedure easier.


  • General methodological approach for WFD (Water Framework Directive) - coherent certification agreed by project partners where all the main problematic issues arising from past experiences and from the positions of main stakeholders involved are tackled, and "strategic" decisions are taken (e.g.: whether to apply a quantitative, objective-oriented approach or one based on best practices).
  • National operational method for certification defined and tested in Italy and Slovenia, based on consultation of national experts and stakeholders which at the end of the project aims at being ready to be implemented in a marketable product, also thanks to direct involvement and interest and consensus building among key market subjects.
  • Guidelines for Decision Makers and hydro power generation company, for siting, construction and management of new "green hydro" plants. The guidelines, will help Decision Makers to quickly identify "no impact" installations – e.g. plants on artificial "not significant" water bodies – and guide them and (Hydropower plant) HPP designers to produce the right information for the evaluation and authorization of plants.
  • Analysis document for Spain including a roadmap for the development of volunteer certification of hydro power generation facilities of high environmental standard in Spain.
  • Proposals and feasibility analysis (including collection of points of view and agreements - when possible - from relevant actors) on the integration of the label scheme in existing procedures, with focus on Italy and France.

Lessons learned

  • CH2OICE has been one of the larger projects (in term of number of partners) ever coordinated by Ambiente Italia. Project management was very much time consuming but not too difficult, thanks to the partners selection and the assignment of clear responsibility for all project activities from the original proposal and during the project. Specific dissemination activities targeted towards energy consumers (public bodies, enterprises and consumers organisations) would have been very helpful
  • to increase the project impact or, at least, to reduce the delay of the impact of the action. Such integration to be effective, however, would have required the involvement of other partners (with specific communication skills) and a substantial increase in the project budget. Environmental compatibility of hydropower could be considered somehow a secondary topic,compared to other energy issues,so the project team have been only partially involved in common dissemination activities.
  • Nevertheless the project has been presented in EU events during 2009 European Energy Week and in other 2 occasions.However,how to distinguish "the most sustainable" among RES,and the way to disseminate this knowledge among consumers is an important issue,regarding any type of energy. Last update: 03.11.11

Partners and coordinator

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Ambiente Italia srl
Contact point: 
Maria Berrini
0039 02277441
Riccardo Battisti
+39 06 44340129


Key documents

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In brief

01/09/2008 to 28/02/2011
Contract number: 

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