Hydropower criteria review

The new criteria for EKOenergy-labelled hydropower concern fish migration, water flow and river habitats. In 2019 we pilot them. The criteria update included a background study and two public consultation rounds.

New criteria for EKOenergy-labelled hydropower now published for piloting

From February 2019 onwards, new environmental requirements (criteria) are used when applying for EKOenergy-eligibility for hydropower plants.

In other issues concerning EKOenergy label we continue using the document “EKOenergy Network and Label“. In this document the section about hydropower 8.3. C  is now replaced with the updated criteria for hydropower.



Virpi Sahi, Environmental Director of EKOenergy, virpi.sahi@sll.fi, tel. +358 50 308 2457
Karlina Ozolina, EKOenergy’s Sustainable Energy Approvals Coordinator, karlina.ozolina@sll.fi





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Background information: documents of the second round of the public consulation

The second draft of our new criteria for hydropower, elaborated on the basis of the comments from the first consultation round, is available in pdf-format.

We also prepared a list of examples to make it easier to understand how the new environmental requirements could work.


Background information: Results of the 1st public consultation

The first public consultation round was finished on the 4th of June 2018 and the summary is available (in Finnish).

The draft documents are available in pdf-format. The official language of these documents is English, but they are also available in other languages.

  • Chapter 8.3. Hydropower – a draft for public consultation 9 April 2018 (PDF) ENGFIN, FRA, ITA, ESP, DEU, RUS, TUR
  • ANNEX: Guidelines for the applicant – a draft for public consultation 9 April 2018 (PDF). ENGFINFRA, ITA, ESP, DEU, RUS, TUR

Please send us your comments by the 4th of June 2018 using the online form. You may formulate your comments in a text editor and transfer them to the form. The form also requires the respondent to provide their contact details. You may also send us attachments in the form if needed.

  • Open the online form for comments (opened up again in the 2. consultation round)

We prefer comments in English, but we are able to process comments also in Finnish, Swedish, French, German, Italian, Latvian, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. Note that the online form is only available in English and Finnish, but you may fill it in the languages mentioned above.


About the process

The present criteria for hydropower have been in use since 2013 when the international EKOenergy label was created.

The draft for new criteria has been written on the basis of a background study, carried out in 2017. According to the study, Environmental Fund is a strength of present EKOenergy approved hydropower and requires only slight modification. On the contrary, the environmental requirements, measures and approval procedure deserve an update.

The new criteria draft describes the River Restoration Fund which is the new name of the current Environmental Fund. It sets three environmental requirements with regards to the water flow, fish migration and river habitats. It also includes an approval procedure that is more predictable than earlier.

EKOenergy Secretariat is carrying out the criteria review as a part of the FRESHABIT LIFE IP project. According to the project plan we are collecting feedback on the criteria draft and amending it during 2018. In 2019 we will pilot new requirements, approval procedure and documentation in five hydropower plants in Finland. Outcome of the criteria review will be accepted by the EKOenergy Board by the end of 2020.

The criteria review does not affect the present agreements of EKOenergy approved hydropower plants.


For more information

  • Present criteria: EKOenergy network and label (21 pages), chapter ”8.3. Hydropower” ENG
  • EKOenergy hydropower criteria review (42 pages)  ENG



  • Virpi Sahi,  EKOenergy’s Environmental Director, virpi.sahi@sll.fi, +358 50 308 2457
  • Karlina Ozolina, EKOenergy’s Hydropower Project Manager, karlina.ozolina@sll.fi