Using the force of water to generate electricity: Small-scale Hydro
Posted in: Generate
Posted on: 24.03.2011
If you have a suitable site, small scale or ‘micro’ hydro-power can be a very reliable and efficient way to generate renewable energy.
Hydro technology relies on harnessing kinetic energy contained in water that is being forced by gravity from a high place to a lower place as it flows downhill via rivers and streams. The flowing water is used to drive a small turbine which generates electricity.
Humans have used hydropower for centuries and many of the micro hydro projects being installed today use the existing infrastructure and adapt it for electricity production. Hydropower is a very constant and long-lasting technology (there are many hydro-electric turbines from the early 20th century that have been reconditioned and are in operation today). Around 17% of the renewable electricity Good Energy sources on behalf of our customers comes from small-scale hydro-power schemes. Our procurement policy ensures that we only purchase from renewable generators that have proven records of environmental responsibility.
Under the current government Feed-in Tariff you can get paid for all the units that you generate (even if these are used onsite) and for the exported units for example, a 15 kW hydro system will earn at least 20.9 pence per kWh of total generation in 2011/12 under Feed-in Tariff, plus more for exported electricity.
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