Hydro Electricity Generation
Hydro power uses the energy in falling water to generate electricity. To work effectively either a high rate of flow of water (such as a river) or a high head or drop (such as a waterfall) is needed – preferably both. The electricity can be stored with the use of batteries or connected to the grid. A battery system is particularly appropriate for locations not already connected to the grid. Grid connection requires an inverter and a generation meter.
The economics of installing hydro power have improved dramatically with the introduction of mandatory feed in tariffs (FITs). The FITs will pay approximately 20.9p/kWh for hydropower-generated, typically totalling around £880 per year (index-linked and tax-free) for every kW peak capacity installed for 20 years, plus the savings on electricity not bought in. There is also an export tariff of 3p/kWh payable for 20 years from installation, based on an assumed export of 50%, unless the system has an import/export meter fitted, which will measure the exact amounts.
If you believe your property is suitable for hydro power, please read our hydro case study for tips, information & contacts.