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
The Environment Agency board will be making their decision on whether to accept the recommendations from the Good Practice Guidelines consultation this Thursday 17th October. Board papers can be found here.
The MHA will be making a response and posting it, prior to the final meeting We welcome any comments or feedback should you wish to have them included in the MHA repsonse.
The EA board have requested that the EA Directors responsible for hydropower regulation need to review their work to date, finding more evidence to support their recommendation of 'option 3 amended' from the Flows Supplementary Consultation. This option was presented to us as members of the Hydropower Working Group as a fait accompli without consultation and with no supporting evidence which is the reason that both the British Hydropower Association and the MHA wrote as I posted earlier.
This is the EA summary of ‘option 3 amended’:
In assessing potential ecological impact, hydro would be considered 'consumptive' despite water being returned to the river and not consumed using the EA’s standard ‘CAMS/EFI’ approach. Ecology of river would be split into three bands - low medium and high as set out on the catchment abstraction management maps. There has been no indication what percentage takes would be allowed for these varying sensitivity bands.
This brief respite (2 months we understand) allows the Hydro industry to reaffirm how best we can work with the EA to bring about suitable site specific schemes, without the narrow parameters suggested by the EA.
Let me know if you have any questions,
The Environment Agency board will be making their decision on whether to accept the recommendations from the Good Practice Guidelines consultation this Thursday 11th July. Board papers can be found here, item 11.
The MHA have responded to the EA with this response stating our withdrawal from the consultation process and issuing this letter to Chairman of the EA, Lord Chris Smith.
I am delighted to say that my invitation for someone to take over as administrator of the mha has been taken up by Kate Gilmartin.
Kate has excellent credentials having herself set up a forum for communities with potential hydropower schemes to share information and experiences and act as a mutual support group. Kate also acts as an independent advisor on CO2 reduction and is an Associate of CO2Sense.
The mha administrator's email address will remain unchanged and for the time being the website will be kept in the same format as now. Following a handover period, during which I will remain involved, Kate will be writing to outline any proposed developments in the structure and constitution of the mha and in its links with others who have similar aims.
Building up the mha's membership and its activities over the last 3+ years has been a rewarding experience and I would like to thank the many people who have responded to surveys and supported our attempts to improve the opportunities for micro hydro schemes to be developed.
Please contact Kate via email@example.com if you have ideas you would like to see considered or points you wish to raise concerning the way forward for the mha.
This is an initiative of the River Energy Networks (REN)/Mendip Power Group, a hydropower association in England which gained an opportunity to send the Secretary of State for Energy, Ed Davey, the top ten problems facing micro hydropower.
Please complete this form (MS Word format, Adobe .pdf format) and send to Rachel Feilden (firstname.lastname@example.org) or respond directly to the questions as set out in here
This could help us all if REN can demonstrate a high number of responses from the industry and potential and actual generators.
I have now drafted a response on behalf of the mha to the supplementary consultation by the Environment Agency (EA) on regulating abstraction of water for hydropower. The response is available here.
There have been hundreds of responses from people with angling interests who have been led to believe there is a threat from hydropower schemes to the rivers they fish. I am certain that this is not the case for the majority of the small scale hydropower schemes that you generators, potential generators, supporters, and suppliers of services are concerned with.
There are now 170 members of the mha - let all our voices be heard!
DEADLINE FOR RESPONSES: 2 APRIL 2013 23:39
I would ask you to spend the very small amount of time it will take to respond on-line to the EA consultation so that they are not faced with choosing an approach which I believe could act as an extreme constraint on any further micro hydropower development in England and Wales.
There are some concerns with “option 1” of the four options presented by the EA, but I and others deeply involved with hydropower, including the British Hydropower Association, consider it the only option of the four that can be acceptable in the short term.
For micro hydropower I am, as you will have read before, proposing a much simplified registration process for low impact schemes. I will be including this redraft of the proposed process with my consultation response. The redraft incorporates amendments to cover the comments on the first draft that some of you have helpfully provided (see this version showing the amendments). I will also now be pursuing this draft proposal with DECC, DEFRA, environment agencies and other departments and agencies.
So please submit your response to the EA consultation , even if only to select option 1 as your preferred option of the four (unless of course you disagree!). The preferred method of response is on-line here:
or you can send an email or postal response to:
Eileen Falkner (hydropowerGPG@environment-agency.gov.uk, 01179344185)
Environment Agency Horizon House
Bristol BS1 5AH
I have been involved for some time in discussions with departments and agencies on the way micro hydro schemes are regulated and on other matters affecting their development. I have now drafted a paper which proposes ways to lessen the burden both for potential scheme owners and developers, and for agencies and planning authorities.
It is alarming that the few suppliers with real experience are now abandoning micro hydro owing largely to the delays and complexities of the red tape - hundreds of valuable schemes risk delay or abandonment otherwise.
Please contribute your comments and ideas in response to this entry.
21 January 2013 Environment Agency consultation on flow standards
The EA has today published their supplementary consultation on flow standards for regulating hydropower abstraction.
It is vital for securing the hydropower industry's existence and ability to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and for the ecology of watercourses, that the Agency adopts a rational approach to setting both risk based and proportionate guidance and permitting rules. The EA proposes four options but does not limit responses to those. I will be posting a draft response to the consultation on this website and distributing it to mha members by email, inviting comment before a final submission on behalf of the mha. The consultation document is also available here. Note that EA's Option 1 is basically emulating SEPA guidance for high head schemes already in place for Scotland.
The consultation is open for 10 weeks closing on 2 April 2013.
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