Environment Agency steps up its support for the development and growth of hydropower in England and Wales.
Hydroelectric power currently produces enough energy for 120,000 homes but the Environment Agency has recognized that it has the potential to provide much more.
Many hydropower proposals have been sent back to the drawing board after failing to comply with legislation put in place to protect local environments and habitats. The new guidelines should enable developers to design within the legislative boundaries first time around, speeding up the deployment of more small-scale hydroelectric schemes.
Only last week, Bob Smith chief executive of Pulse Tidal, a tidal power manufacturer announced concerns that the government was lending a disproportionate amount of support to wind power and warned against neglecting other major sources of potential energy.
The Environment Agency’s Head of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Tony Grayling, said:
"The Environment Agency wants to work with developers to ensure the swift deployment of sustainable renewables - but we must continue to maintain a high level of environmental protection. With this new guidance we hope to show that it is not a matter of striking a compromise between renewable energy and the natural environment. Good hydropower schemes can generate renewable energy and enhance the environment for wildlife."
David Williams, Chief Executive of the British Hydropower Association welcomed the launch of the guidelines, saying:
"It is the balance between preservation of the environment and the need for more renewable energy which has to be accomplished. We are all part of this process and the new guidelines should help to promote greater efficiency in the licensing process."
The Hydropower Good Practice Guidance can be downloaded from the Environment Agency website at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/water/32022.aspx
Posted under Environmental Technologies and Renewable Energy, Energy and Renewables and Environmental Technologies on 7 August 2009