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Hydro-Electric Power

Volume 180: debated on Monday 12 November 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what range of prices are being offered to private hydro-electricity generators in Wales, the north of England and the south of England.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what capacity of hydro-electric power is installed at present in Wales, the north of England and the south of England; and what are his plans to encourage further generation by this means.

The total declared net capacity of hydro-electric schemes connected to the grid in England and Wales is 110 MW as at 31 March 1990. This figure excludes pumped storage schemes. Very small schemes may account for a further capacity of about 10 MW. Further hydro-electric generation in England and Wales is being encouraged by the following means:

  • 1. The Water Act 1989 abolishes water abstraction charges for small schemes of under 5 MW—effective 1 April 1990.
  • 2. From 1990, independent commercial water power electricity generators will be rated on the same "formula" basis as the successors of the Central Electricity Generating Board.
  • 3. My Department has made provision for assistance with the funding of feasibility studies for small hydro-electric schemes, as part of a continuing programme of research, development and demonstration.
  • 4. A total of 26 hydro-electric schemes were included in the first tranche of renewable energy projects under the non-fossil fuel obligation—NFFO. These were given approval by the Director General of Electricity Supply on 3 October.
  • 5. It is planned to make available over the next few years further tranches of capacity for renewables-sourced electricity generation under the NFFO. At least another 600 MW will be made available. The next order under the NFFO will be made next year.