top of page

The rebirth of the old European mills .. there are at least 350,000 small hydroelectric plants abandoned, a great potential that the Resto Hydro project aims to recover ..



Restor (Renewable Energy Sources Transforming Our Regions) Hydro is a European project aimed at increasing the production of renewable energy in micro and small hydroelectric plants, through the identification and reactivation of historic mills and hydroelectric power stations currently not in operation. In the thousands of historic mills, water wheels, abandoned power stations and other hydraulic structures scattered along rivers across Europe (estimated to be around 350,000), there is currently untapped potential for the construction of micro and small hydroelectric plants. The recovery of abandoned structures allows the production of energy that can be used locally or fed into the electricity grid. This allows to increase the production of renewable energy and at the same time to increase energy independence and improve the stability of the electricity grid.

The Restor Hydro project aims to assess the state of small hydroelectric power and the recoverable potential in all 27 countries of the Union; identifies and maps the most suitable sites to be reactivated and stimulates investment by developing an economic model for local cooperatives. The identification and reactivation follow specific methodological guidelines, which take into account the environmental, economic and social aspects. The reactivation pilot projects will come to eight countries: Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden.

The project has several objectives: to supply energy to local communities and the European electricity grid in an environmentally and economically sustainable way; contribute throughout Europe to the generation of significant quantities of electricity in a stable manner; raise awareness of environmental sustainability and the advantageous role of small hydroelectric in the continental energy mix; demonstrate that the small hydroelectric is an opportunity as a vehicle for investments in the area: it generates economic returns for local communities, increases energy independence and at the same time preserves our historical heritage and the environment.

The Restor Hydro Map is available on the website of the initiative, a cartographic tool that offers qualified information on the hydroelectric potential of historic water wheels and mills, abandoned power stations, dams and other hydraulic structures, with coverage of all 27 countries of the Union. The data collected is freely available to local institutions, municipalities, hydroelectric entrepreneurs, researchers and anyone interested. The database allows the identification of the location and main characteristics of historic sites with hydroelectric potential, in order to encourage the creation of energy cooperatives and facilitate the development of projects. mill

bottom of page