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Europe’s biggest renewables group shores up hydropower dams against extreme weather

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Statkraft, Europe's largest renewable energy producer, is investing €700mn to upgrade its hydropower dams in Norway for enhanced resilience against climate change  
This includes reinforcing over 70 dams to withstand extreme rainfall, a response to the increasing weather unpredictability

🔭 The context: Hydropower is crucial for Norway, providing nearly 90% of its electricity and enabling it to export energy to Britain and Europe 
However, climate change-induced heavy rains and extreme weather events have highlighted the vulnerability of hydropower infrastructure, necessitating significant upgrades for safety and efficiency

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The initiative reflects a broader trend among hydropower operators to adapt to climate change  
As global temperatures rise, causing more frequent and severe weather events, such efforts become vital for energy security and environmental protection

⏭️ What's next: Statkraft aims to expand its renewable energy capacity, targeting 2.5-3GW annually by 2025 and 4GW by 2030 
This includes diversifying into wind, gas, biomass, and solar plants globally, despite challenges like high interest rates impacting the renewables sector

💬 One quote: “We have several projects to strengthen our dams so they can be resistant to extreme rain to an extent we have not had before,” - Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO of Statkraft

📈 One stat: Statkraft's hydropower plants account for the bulk of its 19GW generation capacity, underscoring the significance of these upgrades for the company's operational stability and growth.

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