Since the introduction of the feed in tariffs in April 2010 the UK has seen a massive resurgence of interest in small hydro projects. The projects in the main have been run of the river schemes which make use of water in a watercourse as it passes through rather a location rather than storing it behind a dam. Run of river projects are dramatically different in design and appearance from conventional hydroelectric projects which store enormous quantities of water in reservoirs, necessitating the flooding of large tracts of land.
Hydroelectric power is without doubt one of the oldest power generation methods available - it forms a key role in the production of electricity across the globe. Using energy captured from flowing water, it is estimated that hydroelectric power contributed 19% of the world’s power in 2006. It is still the most frequently used renewable energy source worldwide, offering benefits such as a lack of direct emissions or by-products into the environment, easy maintenance and low running costs.