EKOenergy finances four river restoration activities

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The EKOenergy board has decided which projects will receive funding through the EKOenergy Environmental Fund.

The EKOenergy label ensures consumers that they are buying 100% renewable energy which fulfils our strict environmental criteria. For each megawatt of EKOenergy hydropower sold, €0.10 is paid into the EKOenergy Environmental Fund. This money is used to fund projects which reduce the environmental impacts of hydropower production. In the past 12 months, we have collected €52,000.

The call for projects launched in autumn 2014. We explicitly asked for projects based in Iceland, Norway, Finland, Latvia and Romania, the 5 countries where EKOenergy had been sold in 2013 and the beginning of 2014.

With the help of an external jury, 4 projects were selected. These are listed below in no particular order.

River Murronjoki Restoration, Central Finland (€23,000)

  • Beneficiary: Fishery Centre of Central-Finland (Keski-Suomen kalatalouskeskus ry)
  • This project will carry out restoration on the River Murronjoki on the Saarijärvi route, a high priority river system in the Finnish national strategy for the restoration of heavily modified rivers. Manual restoration and the construction of fish passages will be carried out to enable fish migration on the route. The river system was once a thriving habitat for what is now an extremely endangered trout population.

Saaristomeri Area River Restorations, South-West Finland (€15,000)

  • Beneficiary: Varsinais-Suomen kestävän kehityksen ja energia-asioiden palvelukeskus (VALONIA)
  • This project will carry our river restoration work on the heavily modified River Kiskonjoki and River Paimiojoki. Research will also be undertaken to assess whether further restoration on the multiple rivers in the Archipelago sea area is needed, guided by the programmes of Finnish national authorities (ELY-centre). The rivers, which flow into the sea, are important habitats for extremely endangered Baltic Sea sea trout populations, which have been affected by hydropower production.
  • Financing this project promotes the long term objective of fish passage construction on heavily modified rivers, which is one of the core missions of the Environmental Fund. The River Kiskonjoki could potentially receive fish passage LIFE IP/Freshabit financing in the future.
  • The beneficiary is part of a solid network of national and local governmental actors and local initiatives.

River Restorations in South-East Finland (€10,000)

  • Beneficiary: Etelä-Karjalan kalatalouskeskus ry, Kaakon jokitalkkari project
  • This project will replenish, sustain and restore the salmonid fish stocks in the South Karelia and River Kymijoki systems.
  • Financing this project will build on our work to remove structures which act as barrier to fish migration in the project area. The project is carried out on a grassroot level by local activists, which is good for communication purposes and underlines the importance of local initiatives in achieving EKOenergy’s mission.
  • The beneficiary will represent local interests and personalise the efforts in the project area. They are a positive and unique actor in the field of river restoration.

Norina River Restoration, Latvia (€4,000)

  • Beneficiary: Latvian Fund for Nature
  • This project includes the removal of debris and old dam remnants in the River Norina to allow anadromous fish to migrate upstream to their spawning areas.
  • The restoration organisation is well established and has a proven track record in the communication of their results.