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.
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 (email@example.com) 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.
A survey of industry members of the Micro hydro Association (many thanks to those who responded) has confirmed that red tape is hampering development of small scale hydropower schemes and that there is overwhelming support for a simplified registration process.
However, if this is to happen, there will still need to be appropriate safeguards to avoid poorly designed (or fraudulent) installations which are the main concern of electricity, planning and environmental regulation.
I have set up this discussion thread together with links to the survey summary and detailed findings (please zoom in to read the comments and summary figures in this .pdf file).
I am now inviting all readers of this site to read the summary and to comment on whether the proposed registration criteria would be suitable. My aim is to provide evidence to back up a submission to Government to introduce a registration process.
Please include in your comment a brief description of your role in the micro hydro world, whether as a supplier of services or products or as a potential or current generator.
Proposals for an Integrated Framework of environmental regulation (SEPA)
I have drafted a response to the consultation here. Please comment on the blog if you have any changes to suggest and please submit your own responses to SEPA directly to this email address using this form. Responses must be received by 4th August 2012 - see alo previous blog entry
***ENDS Friday 22 June***
I have only just learnt of this consultation which proposes a new household planning fee for extensions and alterations including microgeneration of £100-£200 and new classes of business planning fee for energy developments.
It is not spelled out what fee will apply to micro-hydro.
The business class for energy developments is divided into Wind Farms and Other. The new minimum fee for Other proposed is £1000 for the first 100 sqare meters based on "site size or floor space". There is no clarification of how this would apply to hydro schemes. This is almost three times the current charge.
I have drafted a response to this consultation and invite additional comments on Blog page. Please also submit your own responses here: Fees for Planning Applications 2012 Start date 28/03/2012 - End date 22/06/2012.
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This is a blog to replace the Latest News Page for the Micro Hydro Association so that you can use the RSS feed below. Previous News is still kept on the Home Page. From Administrator.