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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have ideas you would like to see considered or points you wish to raise concerning the way forward for the mha.
Ofgem have published an extremely clear factsheet here. This explains clearly the the ROOFIT process of accreditation is now mandatory and the sole route for any hydropower scheme (under 5MW capacity) to become elgible to receive the FiT.
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.
Following the response released by DECC on the FITs 2B consultation, MCS is now asking for open comments from the industry as to whether it should continue to maintain and develop its hydro product certification scheme requirements and installer standards. They have created a short online survey here: Link to survey.
Please respond individually. As a previous participant in the MCS hydro working group I shall be responding with my view that the MCS process and standards are not suitable for micro hydro schemes, whose design and implementation should be site specific, and therefore that their maintenance or development should not be continued.
A consultation has been announced by Gemserv, who run MCS, on guidelines for assessing competencies of individual installers and installation companies. Micro Hydro is covered in the consultation. The consultation ends at 5pm 9 July 2012.
*MCS certification is not available or planned for micro hydro products and installers (though some installers and products have been registered with MCS under "transitional arrangements"); the current DECC Feed-in tariff consultation (see earlier entries) is, however, still considering whether MCS will have some role in certification for micro hydro.
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