Regulation of Small-Scale Hydropower
Ecologic Institute provides a case study on regulation and lessons learnt pertaining to the implementation of small-scale hydropower in Germany. The case study is one building block of a project funded by the Environmeng Agency of England and Wales allowing the EA to benefit from the experience of other EU Member States in complying with the regulation of environmental issues as part of hydropower project development.
Interest in small-scale hydropower (installations with a capacity of less than 5MW) is growing in England and Wales due to increasing interest in renewable energy and the corresponding mitigation of greenhouse gases. Although hydropower in the United Kingdom (UK) generally involves the use of run-of-river technology, it still has the potential to impact local communities and wildlife . For this reason, hydropower schemes are required to obtain permits and must commit to minimising flood risk and preserving fisheries habitats. The myriad of permitting requirements illustrates the challenge associated with regulating a number of competing environmental issues: the potential for flooding; the initial rationale for implementing small-scale hydropower given the growing need for clean energy; and the need to minimise impacts on the local environment and fish habitats. This project will allow the EA to learn from the experience of other EU Member States in complying with the regulation of environmental issues as part of hydropower project development.