Scotland is ideal for the development of small scale hydropower; we have the rainfall and the hills!  In the early days of the industrial revolution we built water-powered mills, and then in the 1950’s and 60’s we built massive hydro-electric schemes.  There has always been a smattering of small schemes, usually to provide power for remote properties on estates, but with the coming of Feed-in Tariffs, hydropower on many more burns became financially viable.


In 2008 the Scottish Government published a report on the scale of the potential - The Scottish Hydropower Resource Study - available at



The UK Government also recognised the potential and in April 2010  DECC introduced  the Feed-in Tariff.  Over time the rates have varied and at present they are at their lowest ever.  This extends the time period required to achieve a positive cashflow, though the effect may be reduced in the case of very small schemes where the primary motivation is off-setting electricity consumption at a house or business premises.

And there are some additional aspects:

  • Every location is different so there are many uncertainties at the beginning
  • Relatively high capital costs - but the key issue is payback period
  • Few Planning constraints - but sometimes challenges in meeting environmental regulations
  • Not all rivers are appropriate


We have answers to these questions - it is what we do.  So, if you own a river, or are a community with a supportive landowner, please give hydropower some serious consideration.