Scotland rules UK hydropower sector

All hydropower projects with planning permission in the UK are located in Scotland. That’s according to new research which claims the hydro industry in the country is now 100% Scottish […]

Register now!

By Priyanka Shrestha

All hydropower projects with planning permission in the UK are located in Scotland.

That’s according to new research which claims the hydro industry in the country is now 100% Scottish as no projects in England, Wales or Northern Ireland have been given the green light.

A total of 27 projects with a capacity of 58.5MW – enough to power 42,000 homes – have been granted consent.

Currently 14 schemes, which include a 1.5MW project at the iconic Falls of Bruar in Perthshire and on Loch Eilde Mor, in the hills above Kinlochleven, are under construction.

Hannah Smith, Policy Officer at industry body Scottish Renewables, said: “Scotland’s terrain and rainfall mean the country is ideal for the development of hydroelectricity but the rest of the UK has historically invested in this technology too.

“These figures show that a huge cut to support in the UK Government’s Feed-in Tariff review in December has already caused a contraction in the number of schemes being developed and it seems a geographical withdrawal to hydro’s traditional heartland.”

Last week the UK Green Investment Bank announced it is backing two hydropower schemes in Scotland.