~ Information About Hydro Electric Power

Micro Hydro Power
Micro Hydro Power

Micro hydro power is the term used to describe a hydro power system with a capacity of 100KW or less. It is also sometimes known as mini hydro power. Around the UK are a large number of hydro power installations ranging from micro hydro power systems to much larger operations. For more information on hydro electric power in general, visit our hydro electric power page.

The main benefits of micro hydro power are its reliability as an energy source and its efficiency. This usually stands at between 60% and 80% which is much better than the efficiency of a solar or wind power system. The costs are significantly higher, however, with micro hydro power installations often at their most cost effective in locations without national grid connection. In fact, they are more popular in less developed countries than the UK, where perhaps electricity connection is less common. If the micro hydro power system is to power, for example, a home, however, the source would need to be close to the building.

As a guideline, the typical cost of a hydro electric power installation would be from £4000 per KW up to 10KW with the cost per KW reducing for larger schemes. Grants are available, however, from the Low Carbon Buildings Programme. Householders can claim up to £1000 per KW up to a maximum of £2500 or 30% of the total installed cost. For more information visit the Low Carbon Buildings Programme website.

For more information on micro hydro power visit the British Hydro Power Association which has a useful guide available for download.

Source - www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk & www.est.org.uk 2009


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