Plenty of activity in the Rällsälven river

En bäck slingar sig fram genom landskapet och forsar över stora stenar i förgrunden. Det är en solig dag med grönskande buskar, träd och en äng i bakgrunden. Vid vattnet står björkar och granar. Längre ned syns en stor byggnad, en kraftstation.

Hydropower provides renewable energy that is good for the climate. But hydropower dams up waterways, affecting fish, animals and plants that need flowing water. Biodiversity is declining. That is why work has been in progress for some years now on making hydropower more eco-friendly all over Sweden.

The Rällsälv power station, near Kopparberg in the county of northern Örebro, is one of four dams on the river. The Rällsälven river is home to a number of protected and red-listed species, and the river has been designated a site of national interest thanks to its high conservation values. Here, Mälarenergi has now built a 350-metre-long nature-like stream, a fauna passage, that channels water past the power plant dam. Trout and other fish migrate to their spawning ground through the fauna passage. The river is also home to some 70,000 freshwater pearl mussels. This endangered mussel, which can live to hundreds of years old, now has more chance of survival. Birds such as the shimmering blue kingfisher and the white-throated dipper nest in the area. The flowing water of the fauna passage lays the foundation for life in the Rällsälven river.