A study into the Environment Agency's regulations has been conducted by the EA themselves following pressure from the hydropower industry. This presentation by Olly Paish of the BHA gives some insight into the results.
In summary, the requirements for screen sizes for low head hydropower schemes will be for mesh size to be <=12.5mm, not <=2mm.
The EA have recently released details of various studies which in some cases relate to hydropower - see below from the EA, especially report no 3.
"The table below provides the titles and hyperlinks to the Evidence reports produced with our Evidence Directorate. Appendix 1 is a work in progress that is attempting to identify other projects (which we do not lead on) that may be of interest to the Hydropower sector."
Assessment of the impact of hydropower on weir pool features: report SC120077/R1
Assessment of the impact of hydropower on weir pool features: summary SC120077
Cumulative effects of hydropower schemes on fish migration and populations: report SC120078
Cumulative effects of hydropower schemes on fish migration and populations: summary SC120078/S
Testing the effectiveness of fish screens for hydropower intakes: report SC120079/R
Testing the effectiveness of fish screens for hydropower intakes: summary SC120079/S
Report: “The Effects of Run-of-River Hydroelectric Power Schemes on Fish Community Composition in Temperate Streams and Rivers” – G Bilotta
Project summary: Effects of run-of-river hydroelectric power schemes on fish.
Appendix 1- other evidence/monitoring projects that may relate to hydropower – but not led by Hydropower Sector
Ruswarp weir studies
Fish behaviour in relation to hydrodynamic signals
Fish behaviour in relation to acoustic signals
Field –based studies of fish and eel behaviour
Further field –based studies of eel behaviour (FCERM –funded)
Pumping stations and eel regulations – mitigation prioritisation project
Impact of Archimedes Screw HEP on salmon smolt
Hydrodynamically- and ecologically-driven design of weirs, hydropower plants and fish passes
Eel behavioural deterrents
Bubble screen deterrents for eels
Eel Regulation Guidance for EA pumping stations and IDB’s
Impacts of Archimedes Screw Turbines on salmon smolt migration
Stanley Mills Lamprey project
E-ON silver eels tracking study
Response of eels to velocity gradients
Habitat use by brown trout in relation to velocity gradients and turbulence
Impacts of acoustic stimuli on fish schooling behaviour
Impact of low-head hydropower development on fish survival and passage
Barotrauma in eels and influence of A. crassus.
Eel population dynamics and eel life cycle
Blade-strike models for eel and HEP turbines
Fish survival and damage tests with Lunagen turbines
Collate and describe what approach other European (and international) regulators are taking to protect glass eel and elvers
CEFAS work (Dart? Settle?)
Halton on Lune monitoring results
Figures below based on Ofgem reports published 11 October 2016
(Figures below based on Ofgem reports published 7 July 2016 for schemes which have completed accreditation. The current report inludes 43 schemes <=100kW and 13 schemes >100kW which were omitted from Ofgem's report for the FiT period ending 30 March 2016)
Ofgem are now publishing details of the queue of applications for accreditation. The report is presented in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The 16 May 2016 report can be viewed here as a .pdf file for Hydro 100kW and under. There are no applications in the queue for this period for schemes over 100kW.
(Figures below based on Ofgem reports published 13 April 2016 for schemes which have completed accreditation.
Ofgem have published the new rates from 1 April 2016 here.
Although one pre-accrediation application (17 March) was withdrawn before 31 March 2016 bringing the 0-100kW deployment below the degression cap, the rates have nonetheless been reduced by 10%.
The latest degression caps report is available here
The latest position on degression caps (i.e. whether and by how much they have been breached) is usually available on the Ofgem website here but the website is down at the time of writing.
The BHA have pointed out that there is currently only 24kW of the 1.1MW capacity available for this quarter in the sub-100kW FiT band for hydro.
If the maximum band capacity of 1.1MW is reached before the end of March, then a 10% contingent degression would be triggered which would lower the FiT rate for any future new schemes. If you attempt to pre-accredit a scheme which is greater than the remaining capacity you will both trigger the degression and suffer the 10% reduction for your scheme.
If you wait until April when new capacity is available you will only suffer a very small default degression.
Ofgem have published temporary rates for new accreditation applications here (subject to degression)
(Figures below based on Ofgem reports published 8 January 2016 for schemes which have completed accreditation. (errors in 2010/11 figures in original post)
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