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What role for hydropower in future UK energy mix?

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Hydropower projects could provide the UK with an additional 1GW of clean energy, in a “quick timeline”, according to a report recently released by The Energy Informatics Group at the University of Birmingham.

Commissioned by the British Hydropower Association (BHA) to assess the future potential of hydropower in the UK, the report concluded that under the right policy framework, a total of 3GW of energy is possible via this source – a 50% increase on the current deployment of 2GW.

Lead author Dr Grant Wilson from University of Birmingham’s School of Chemical Engineering, said:

“This report provides evidence and data that makes it clear hydropower has had long-standing benefits to help decarbonise the UKs electrical system, and with the right policy support can continue to do so, in fact, it has the opportunity to grow its capacity by 50%.”

The report has been released to coincide with the BHA’s annual conference, taking place in Glasgow this week, with the trade body keen to highlight the proven nature of the technology, as well as hydropower’s ability to provide power when electricity demand is at its highest, during the evening and winter months, when energy generated by solar and wind can be at its lowest. 

Kate Gilmartin CEO of the British Hydropower Association, said

“Hydropower is a proven and reliable technology that is able to ramp up quickly and safely. The UK has an established hydropower supply chain, so nearly all of the support needed to unlock this investment will stay in the UK economy, creating jobs and growth.”

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