Dip your toes in the water and generate your own electricity

People with an interest in using the power of water to generate electricity are invited to attend the one-day micro-hydro seminar organised by the British Hydropower Association (BHA) at the Glanusk Estate near Crickhowell on Friday 3rd July 2009.  With energy costs increasing old mills, forgotten water wheels, streams and rivers are being looked at with fresh eyes by local farmers, landowners and residents who are incredibly enthusiastic about the enormous potential of hydro electric schemes in Wales.  

The seminar will provide information and inspiration on how and where to start developing a micro-hydro scheme and how to avoid pitfalls and overcome hurdles to ensure a successful and sustainable project.  This event is open to anyone with an interest in micro-hydro schemes and will help people discover if a potential scheme is feasible and economically viable.

The one day event supports the initiatives of the community-led Green Valleys project which is working to develop the UK’s first carbon negative valley in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. Predictions suggest that the valley may have the capacity to provide five times more energy than the area needs from hydro schemes alone.

Michael Butterfield, one of the Directors for the Green Valleys project said:  “Hydro is just one of many initiates that we are looking at to reduce our carbon emissions and our impact on our environment around us. Farmers and landowners are potentially sitting on an extremely valuable asset because there is a big future for hydro energy in this area.  In Britain last year there were 13 hydro schemes installed and 6 of those schemes were here within the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park which is the Green Valleys area.  We must seek inspiration from how our communities lived many years ago, because in certain fields they were ahead of their time – re-instating old water mills and hydro-electric schemes are just the tip of the iceberg.  This really is an exciting time for us and we are very grateful that the BHA is hosting this event to show our communities what can be achieved from hydropower.”


Hydro provides the highest pay-back ratio for all electricity generating technologies – generates no CO2 emissions and has minimal visual impact on the surrounding environment. But many individuals and community groups find it a struggle to get a project off the ground – particularly when it comes to planning issues and environmental licensing.  Local authorities need to meet their targets for using renewable energy sources but are finding they need to expand and increase their knowledge base.

BHA Chief Executive, David Williams, said “This is the third of a programme of seminars planned this year, continuing on from our hugely successful seminars held all over the UK over the last three years. The day will include a guide on getting started, real-life local case-studies, buffet lunch and site visit, and feature talks from regional environment agencies, developers and scheme owners. It will provide a superb opportunity to meet like-minded people to share experiences”

For more information or to book your place (there is a fee to cover costs), please visit www.british-hydro.org/bhaevents.asp. or call 01202 880333.


Pictures:  Copyright of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority

Grenville Ham from Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority and member of the Green Valleys explains to local children how hydro power works.

Notes to the Editors:

•    In the UK, hydropower accounts for almost 40% of installed renewable energy capacity

•    Hydro schemes last well in excess of 50 years and with refurbishment can last over 100 years.

•    Hydropower is the most effective way of storing energy

•    Hydropower is clean, sustainable and renewable.

•    The British Hydropower Association is the professional trade association representing the interests of the British hydro industry (from micro to large) and its associated stakeholders in the wider community, in both the UK and overseas.  The membership of the BHA covers a wide range of hydro interests and expertise: design and consulting engineering in all disciplines, developers, contractors, generators, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, project managers, financiers, insurers, operators and investors, and specialists in hydrology, fish protection and other services.  The BHA promotes the British hydro industry both at home and abroad, increasing awareness of its quality and scope in the wider world.