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Hydroelectric Power

Volume 486: debated on Monday 19 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what research his Department has commissioned on the use of small-scale hydro-power generation; and what his most recent assessment is of its potential contribution to power generation by 2020. (248770)

The 2008 "Growth Potential for Microgeneration in England, Wales and Scotland" report completed by Element Energy was part funded by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and included research as to the number of micro-hydro installations currently in operation. Their follow up report, "Numbers of microgeneration units installed in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland", looked in more detail at the number of installations across the UK and estimated that there were 73 micro hydro installations in the UK generating over 4GWh per annum. Both reports are available from the BERR website at:

http://www.berr.gov.uk/energy/microgenerationresearch.

In Scotland a study has been undertaken by the Forum for Renewable Energy in Scotland (FREDS), looking at the potential for hydropower in Scotland. This study shows this potential to be in the region of 657MW. The FREDS report can be found on the Scottish Executive website at:

http://www.Scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/917/0064958.pdf

This Department, along with the Welsh Assembly Government and in partnership with the British Hydropower Association are currently undertaking a study into the potential for micro and small scale deployment hydropower in England and Wales. This is due to be published later this year.