In UK, 14 hydropower schemes with 26.8 megawatt capacity are currently under construction, all located in Scotland. The U.K.’s hydropower industry comes under the rule of Scotland with all projects that hold planning permission being located north of the border, according to Scottish Renewables. Research by the industry representative on Tuesday showed that, of the 14 schemes with 26.8 megawatts of capacity currently under construction in the U.K., all are located in Scotland.
Additionally, 27 projects totaling 58.5 megawatts, enough to power 42,000 homes, have planning consent in Scotland alone. “No project in England, Wales or Northern Ireland currently has the green light to proceed,” the research showed. “Scotland’s terrain and rainfall mean the country is ideal for the development of hydroelectricity,” Hannah Smith, policy officer at Scottish Renewables, said. In 2015, cuts of 37 percent were imposed on the sector’s feed-in-tariff support scheme. The cuts are given as a reason to why hydropower projects are not as appealing to investors in the rest of the U.K.
“The cut has already caused a contraction in the number of schemes being developed and, it seems, a geographical withdrawal to hydro’s traditional heartland,” Smith said. Under such circumstances, she said that, “developers are now looking to innovation to make projects financially viable.” Scottish Renewables released its findings ahead of the Hydro Conference and Exhibition taking place in Perth on May 18.