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Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what studies his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the potential to exploit micro-hydropower. (93699)

In 1987 the then Department of Energy commissioned the University of Salford to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the economic potential for small-scale hydro-electric generation throughout the UK.

The scope of the study extended to sites with installed capacities in the range 25kW to 5MW. Further limiting conditions were to disregard sites with hydraulic heads of less than two metres, with existing civil works, or less than three metres with no existing civil works.

The comprehensive results of the study were published in report “Small Scale Hydroelectricity Generation Potential in the UK” ETSU-SSH-4063 (Parts 1-3) a copy of which is available in the Libraries of the House

More recently I commissioned research, carried out by the Energy Saving Trust, into the potential of all microgeneration technologies (“Potential for Microgeneration: Study and Analysis”). This study suggests that the maximum installed capacity for small-scale hydro power stations (under l0kW) is 100MW.