More than £6.1m was invested in new 50kW+ hydro projects during the year, taking the total to date to an estimated £60.9m. Together the projects now in operation are capable of generating £19.4m worth of wholesale electricity a year – enough to power more than 90,000 households.
The report also highlights the growth in hydropower in the last year – an additional 43 sites representing a rise of more than 20%.
Scotland is the most significant part of Great Britain in terms of hydro power sites and capacity.
Hydro power is the third most significant independent renewable source north of the Border with total capacity of 80.9MW and a 5% share of the country’s capacity.
In terms of project numbers, the Highlands have the highest concentration of hydro power schemes (35) followed by Argyll & Bute (30) and Perth & Kinross (28).
With 14 sites, Cumbria has the highest number in England followed by Derbyshire (13), Devon (12) and Yorkshire (11). In Wales Powys (14), Gwynedd (12) and Conwy (4) are the most active areas.
Aberdeenshire, Shropshire, Strathclyde, Surrey and Worcestershire saw the biggest growth during the year with a doubling in the number of projects followed by Ayrshire (up by 66.7%), Greater Manchester (50%), Dumfries & Galloway (50%) and Conwy (33.3%).
Simon Hamlyn, Chief Executive, BHA ,said: “There is plenty of good news in this energy entrepreneurs report, with both growth and investment are up by a fifth.
“Whilst there are many significant and varied challenges ahead for the hydropower sector, this report demonstrates that the industry is currently in good health, with a very active and committed constituency of developers, consultants, manufacturers and service providers.“
Glasgow-based Iain Robertson, Head of Generation Sales at Smartest Energy, commented: “This year’s report really underlines just how important the independent renewables sector is becoming and the scale of investment being made by energy entrepreneurs.
“We are pleased to have worked with the BHA to produce this additional report focusing on the contribution of hydropower and we look forward to continuing to support energy entrepreneurs across all technologies.”