Hydroelectric power

River and weir power

Harnessing the power of water, hydro energy sites use the force or energy of falling water to generate power. When water flows from rivers or weirs, the water is channelled through underground turbines, which in turn spin to create electricity. With thousands of miles of river/water in the UK it is an excellent place to take advantage of this natural source of power.

Hydro electricity can be an incredibly efficient method of producing renewable electricity, however intense planning and site selection is vital for a successful hydro site. The quality of the generator will depend on the 'head' of the water, the height of the vertical drop, and the 'flow rate', the speed of the water’s movement, which varies heavily depending on the water source, the season and the drainage conditions in a particular area.

How does it work?

There are three different types of hydroelectric power:

Storage - Where a large amount of water is held in a dam, for example, and released when necessary to drive turbines and produce electricity.

Pumped Storage - Where a large amount of water is pumped to a higher reservoir and then released when necessary to drive turbines to produce electricity

Run-of-the-river - Where water runs naturally downstream of a river or weir and drive turbines to produce electricity. All of Good Energy's hydro power sources are this kind which is unobtrusive on the natural environment and ecosystems 

Good Energy predominantly buys its power from run-of-the-river sites, which include rivers and weirs.

Why does Good Energy like it?

Hydro power can fit in beautifully with natural surroundings and although upfront costs can be high, hydro is often a very stable and good investment. 

Tidal energy

Tidal energy converts wave power into energy. It’s incredibly consistent for form of renewable energy because we know exactly when the tides will come in and out.

How does it work?

Twice a day, every day, the UK tide comes in and out. The tide is created by the magnetic pull of the moon. As the water moves in and out with the tides, it rushes rushes through underground turbines, generating electricity. Two tides a day consistently give many opportunities each day to create electricity. If the generation site is built in a lagoon, electricity can be generated four times a day. This electricity can be supplied locally and nationally so you don’t need to live by the sea to benefit from this technology.

Why does Good Energy like it?

The UK has some of the highest tidal ranges in the world, and as we’re surrounded by coastline, this means we’ve got a huge but currently untapped potential right on our doorstep. That’s why Good Energy has invested in the Swansea Tidal Lagoon to show support for this technology, which we hope will fuel a brand new UK industry. 

National Trust hydro power


Discover how a new hydro turbine in the Snowdonia mountainside is helping the National Trust and Good Energy.

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Swansea Bay’s Tidal Lagoon


Good Energy are thrilled to hear that the proposed Tidal Lagoon in Swansea Bay has been given the go-ahead by planners.

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