Stop the dams-invest in Solar instead!
Do you support a renewable future? Do you want to help create community-owned energy and join the fight in saving Europe's last wild river? If so, you are at the right campaign!
We need your help: Threatened in their livelihood by a looming dam on the Vjosa, the village of Kutë in Albania – one of the most sunkissed country’s in Europe – wants to show that the destruction of Europe’s last wild river is not necessary. They can produce their own energy on their roofs, creating more income for the community.
EcoAlbania in cooperation with its partner organizations EuroNatur and Riverwatch is seeking support to bring a clean and sustainable energy source to Kutë village - Solar Energy, and by doing so, to protect the Vjosa river from the dam's construction.
This fundraising campaign will emphasize the importance of modern techniques like rooftop PV panels in preserving the environment and that electricity could be produced by other renewable energy technologies like solar. Solar energy in Albania can be seen as a great potential for future investments in renewable energy solutions.
Energy self-sufficiency from sustainable energy sources can secure reduced environmental impact, increased sustainability, and economic benefits, such as reduced energy costs. This delivers social benefits for the local community, both in terms of increasing financial resources for community development, and improving energy independence.
Together with you, we want to get engaged and play our part in the fight against river destruction, we want to realize this pilot project and promote sustainable energy.
Why we need you:
Kutë Community is fighting to save their homes, their river, and land that define them while this project gives them the voice to tell the world what is happening in their backyards.
Kutë village is one of the most affected areas by the planned Poçem hydropower in the Vjosa valley. In the last couple of years this village has become emblematic, linked with the resistance against the construction of the hydropower plant.
If the hydropower would be built, Kutë would suffer from a bad devastating economic situation due to the flooding of over 2,500 ha of agricultural land and subsequent displacement of local people.
We want to make the Kutë a self-sufficient energy community. This would not just protect the integrity of the Vjosa river, but also create additional income for the community. As the first practice/model of ‘energy communities or energy cooperative’ in Albania, we hope that this pilot project will raise awareness for rural community renewable energy solutions and push further solar and sustainable energy projects.
The Balkan region-richly diverse in cultures, languages, and history is home to the last wild rivers on the European Continent, earning the name: The Blue Heart of Europe. However, this last large riverine oasis is soon to be lost due to dam constructions.
EcoAlbania in cooperation with its partner organizations EuroNatur and Riverwatch is leading the ‘Save the Blue Heart of Europe’ campaign since 2012 – which aims to preserve the most valuable river stretches in the Balkans, from the destruction due to uncontrolled hydropower. The campaigns’ centerpiece is the Vjosa River, as it turned out to be the last big free-flowing wild river left in Europe.
This still untouched area in southern Albania is at risk for droughts, flooding and other issues caused by planned hydropower plants. The environmental consequences of large and small hydropower plants include a direct negative impact on the biological, chemical, and physical properties of river ecosystems. Particularly in remote areas, the impact of hydropower is felt well beyond the river system. The river's social and cultural values are irreplaceable as people do not just leave next to, but with the river. Vjosa has a special and crucial place in the daily lives of the Kutë community. Its terraces provide the village with fertile land for agricultural activities such as crop production and livestock farming. On the other hand, recreational tourism on the Vjosa and its tributaries are ever-increasing, particularly in recent years in which enthusiasts have started to enjoy activities such as rafting, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, etc. Many small-scale businesses and new emerging eco-tourism companies have based their existence on the free-flowing waters of the Vjosa.
The project empowers the community to create long-term sustainable change. It increases renewable energy generation and improves access to renewable energy. Also it will improve the community’s capacity for understanding solar energy (use, education, awareness, or infrastructure).
Our goal: The campaign’s goal is to install a Rooftop Photovoltaic System in 5 public-owned buildings where their consumption is paid by the local or central government. The number of PV panels to be installed is 208 and the cost will be: 80,500 EUR. The minimum amount to reach with this campaign is installing PV panels in the Primary School Building (220m2) and the Health Center building (45m2), there can be installed 175 PV solar panels, that will cost 48.000 EUR.
Spread the word!
Help Kutë community in their fight against the Poçem hydropower plant and save the queen of the European rivers by donating to the project.
Together we can make solar energy a reality in our communities today!
- Elwin Oost
- C. Weebers
- Kaltrina Caravaku
- Arlind Hajredinaj
Organizer and beneficiary
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