Small Hydropower can have a inmense effect on the energy transition in Europe. The EU-27 have an untapped potential of 100.000 MW which could be unlocked by 2035.
Multiple devices have entered the market or are on the brink of becoming commercially available; without harming the environment.
After the summer of 2019 new projections will be published.
New R&D projects are currently in development to validate, certify these predictions on various topics:
- Ecology (fish mortality, hydro morphology, water quality)
- Performance (Availibuility of Electric Power of new hydrokinetic devices)
- Pilotting devives in various streams in Europe
- Unlocking the untapped potential
A large group (> 50) of SHP stakeholders is currently involved in these projects and are continuously looking for new collaboration partners; device developers, regional bodies, waterboards and universities.
Please send email to if you would like to explore collaboration.
There are five broad hydropower typologies:
Run-of-river hydropower: a facility that channels flowing water from a river through a canal or penstock to spin a turbine. Typically a run-of-river project will have little or no storage facility. Run-of-river provides a continuous supply of electricity (base load), with some flexibility of operation for daily fluctuations in demand through water flow that is regulated by the facility.
Storage hydropower: typically a large system that uses a dam to store water in a reservoir. Electricity is produced by releasing water from the reservoir through a turbine, which activates a generator. Storage hydropower provides base load as well as the ability to be shut down and started up at short notice according the demands of the system (peak load). It can offer enough storage capacity to operate independently of the hydrological inflow for many weeks or even months.
Pumped-storage hydropower: provides peak-load supply, harnessing water which is cycled between a lower and upper reservoir by pumps which use surplus energy from the system at times of low demand. When electricity demand is high, water is released back to the lower reservoir through turbines to produce electricity.
Offshore hydropower: a less established but growing group of technologies that use tidal currents or the power of waves to generate electricity from seawater
(Very) low-head hydropower: a market in rapid development with heads lower than 5 meters. In stead of using traditional turbines very low head hydropower uses innovative techniques to harvest energy from rivers and tidal ranges. Performance enhanced modified Darrieus and Savonius turbines show viable business cases in real life conditions.
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