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22 Sep 2008 05:09:11

Hydropower needs incentivising



Hydropower needs incentivising
Small scale hydropower generation could help the UK meet its renewable energy targets though it will require government incentives if it is to meet its potential, visitors at the British Hydropower Association (BHA) heard.

The BHA claims that 12 countries around the world get 100 per cent of their electricity from hydropower and called on the UK government to take steps to encourage greater use of the technology in the UK.

Speaking at the conference, Mendip Power Group chair Arthur Battesby said that incentives, such as feed-in tariffs, which pay projects per unit of electricity generated, could encourage existing facilities which have fallen into disuse to be turned back on, reported New Energy Focus.

He said: "Run of river hydro is ubiquitous, predictable with a high load factor and a very good payback factor. There are over 20,000 mills in the UK, of which we have data on 800. Of these 800, we can estimate an output of 370,000MWh, which is enough to power 8,600 homes for a year."

The BHA claims that hydropower is the electricity-generation technology which has the best payback ratio.
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