2The biggest Polish hydroelectric power plants: Żarnowiec Hydroelectric Power Plant (716 MW) created in 1983, pumped-storage hydroelectric power stationPorąbka Żar Hydroelectric Power Plant (500 MW) created in 1979, pumped-storage hydroelectric power stationSolina Hydroelectric Power Plant (200 MW) created in 1968, pumped-storage hydroelectric power stationWłocławek Hydroelectric Power Plant (162 MW) created in 1969, pumped-storage hydroelectric power stationŻydowo Hydroelectric Power Plant (150 MW) created in 1971, pumped-storage hydroelectric power station
4Żydowo Hydroelectric Power Plant (source: http://www.fizyka.net.pl)
5Poland's hydropower resources are estimated at about 13,7 TWh per year Poland's hydropower resources are estimated at about 13,7 TWh per year. Currently, Poland uses only 12% of its hydropower resources, which constitutes 7,3% of its whole public power system ( Obecnie Polska wykorzystuje swoje zasoby hydroenergetyczne jedynie w 12%, co stanowi 7,3% mocy zainstalowanej w krajowym systemie elektroenergetycznym (Comparatively, in Norway 98% of all the electric energy comes from hydropower). Relatively small exploitation of hydropower resources in Poland is caused by unvaried terrain and small gradient of the rivers. Worldwide, this form of energy production accounts for about 25% of global electricity generation. The leaders here are Scandinavian Countries, Canada and New Zealand. Hydroelectric power plants are a relatively cheap source of energy. Hydroelectricity is also a flexible source of electricity since plants can be ramped up and down very quickly to adapt to changing energy demands. However, damming interrupts the flow of rivers and can harm local ecosystems, and building large dams and reservoirs often involves displacing people and wildlife. Moreover, another big disadvantage of this energy source is however the limited number of locations, where hydroelectric power plants can be created.
6Among all the countries of the EU except of France (65, 2 Twh), Sweden, Italy and Spain produced the biggest amount of energy in hydroelectric power plants in 2003.
7Degree of exploitation of rivers' energy potential in Europe: Switzerland 92%France 82%Spain 79%Norway 63%Sweden 63%Austria 49%Poland 14%
8Barriers of hydro power developmnent in Poland: barriers resulting from formal and legal regulationscooperation with Regional Water Management Boardsenvironmental protectioneconomic barriers
10The oldest water mills in Poland were built in the 12th century thanks to the Order of Cistercians, who brought the technology of building the water mills from western Europe, where they first mills were functioning since the 11th century. In the 16th century there were more than 3 thousand water mills in Poland.
11Water mill built in 1850, located in Ciechanowiec.