Expert-based evaluation of the impacts of hydropower plant construction on natural systems in Turkey


ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT, vol.27, pp.690-703, 2016 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0958305x16667186
  • Journal Name: ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.690-703
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Turkey, like most countries that run an energy deficit and are dependent on foreign energy sources, is seeking short-term solutions to solve a long-term problem. One of the solutions is to activate renewable energy resources such as small- and mid-sized hydroelectric power plants providing part of a possible long-term solution. However, the speed at which new hydropower plants have been constructed in Turkey has resulted in negative environmental impacts on natural ecosystems. The Environmental Impact Assessment process for Turkey's hydropower plants involves, at least in principle, the expertise of foresters, biologists, fisheries, and aquaculture experts and landscape architects. In this study, 60 experts representing different sectors (government, private, and academic) assessed Turkey's hydropower plants. Results of surveys show that experts rate insufficient minimum environmental flow (75%) and destruction of mountain and riparian forest (51.6%) as the most serious problems related to hydropower plant development; other high-ranking secondary problems include fragmentation and loss of biodiversity (61.7%) and negative impacts on tourism (60%), while negative impacts on wildlife (35%) was the lowest ranking secondary problem.