Hydropower

Hydropower is a form of renewable energy that uses the water stored in dams, as well as flowing in rivers to create electricity in hydropower plants.

Interesting Facts

  • Over 150 years ago it revolutionised electricity generation in the UK and it is still one of the most inexpensive ways to generate power, playing an important role in our electricity system stability.
  • Hydropower is a flexible technology, proven, improved and refined over many years, yet its site-specific features make it highly innovatory in application.
  • Hydropower currently produces around 20% of the world’s electricity and 90% of the world’s renewable power.
  • At present, 30% to 40% of the UK’s renewable generation is provided by hydropower, whilst globally, 17% of energy is supplied – and will continue to be supplied – from hydropower sources.
  • Hydropower makes use of a wide range of available resource – large or small, storage or run-of-river, and including tidal range, canals and even water treatment works.
Opportunities

Opportunities

  • Hydropower beats all other electricity generating technologies with a pay-back ratio of 300 (energy produced/energy to produce) – this is ten times more than oil-fired power stations.
  • Hydropower is a flexible technology, improved and refined over many years.
  • Turbine efficiencies are rarely below 80% which is about double that of a steam turbine.
  • The cost per kW of clean energy is the lowest of all renewable technologies over the full lifetime of the scheme
  • Hydropower offers long term generation beyond the subsidy period and hydropower schemes have an 80-year life compared to 25 years for wind, solar PV and AD; 35 years for nuclear.
  • Hydropower offers a unique and attractive combination of low lifetime cost and a local/UK based supply chain.
  • Recent resource studies have indicated that there is a practical potential for a further 2GW of capacity in the UK.
Challenges

Challenges

  • The lack of UK government support for small-scale hydropower
  • Increasingly burdensome legislation across the UK is a major challenge
  • Despite all the associated benefits both environmentally and economically, small scale hydropower development in the UK could effectively cease due to lack of support.

Get in touch

The team at AREG is committed to ensuring that businesses in Aberdeen City and Shire capitalise on opportunities in renewable energy and that our members achieve success in this rapidly growing market. Please contact us with your news, views, concerns and successes so that we are well placed to deliver on your behalf.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. “We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.

All-Energy

Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.

Vattenfall

Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise