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Small Hydro and the nimbys
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:43 am    Post subject: Small Hydro and the nimbys Reply with quote

Quote:
Ministers want to make it easier for communities and landowners to build water wheels and other types of small scale hydropower generators in rivers and streams around the country.
They believe it will be possible to power more than a million homes by harnessing the energy from rivers with small hydropower projects and will this week announce plans to remove some of the regulations that can lead to such schemes being rejected.
But the plans have angered national fishing organisations and countryside campaigners.
They claim that hydropower turbines can have devastating impacts on migrating fish such as trout and salmon, which must swim upstream to breed, while the schemes can become eyesores in some of the most beautiful parts of the country.
Greg Barker, the climate change minister, said he wanted to encourage local communities and even individual home owners to use hydropower as a form of microgeneration that could feed extra electricity into the national grid.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/hydro_electricenergy/8584059/Anglers-anger-at-plans-to-slash-red-tape-for-hydropower-schemes.html
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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Location: south east England

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Small Hydro and the nimbys Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
Quote:
Ministers want to make it easier for communities and landowners to build water wheels and other types of small scale hydropower generators in rivers and streams around the country.
They believe it will be possible to power more than a million homes by harnessing the energy from rivers with small hydropower projects and will this week announce plans to remove some of the regulations that can lead to such schemes being rejected.
But the plans have angered national fishing organisations and countryside campaigners.
They claim that hydropower turbines can have devastating impacts on migrating fish such as trout and salmon, which must swim upstream to breed, while the schemes can become eyesores in some of the most beautiful parts of the country.
Greg Barker, the climate change minister, said he wanted to encourage local communities and even individual home owners to use hydropower as a form of microgeneration that could feed extra electricity into the national grid.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/hydro_electricenergy/8584059/Anglers-anger-at-plans-to-slash-red-tape-for-hydropower-schemes.html


That's not nimbyism. From the point of view of a migrating fish, dams kill rivers.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's nimbyism. Small hydro can easily be designed fish-friendly.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small scale hydro projects don't normally build dams, they use existing weir sites which quite often don't have any existing way for fish to migrate. In these circumstances a fish ladder is often included in the scheme. Anyway, an Archimedes screw turbine will allow fish to pass unharmed. Where a high head turbine is used, and a small dam is sometimes necessary, the slope of the river or stream is usually too high for fish to pass.

Most of the schemes being proposed on the Thames and Kennet rivers near us are for Archimedes screws as the head is usually about 1.5m to 2.5m and these are the most efficient at low heads. Sustainable Newbury, having had a wind turbine scheme turned down by local NIMBYs, are promoting such a scheme, funded and owned by the community, within the Town area. We have been told that anglers and canoeists are the likely objectors even though our favoured site is a new drop from the canal into the river where fish can't pass anyway. We might also have a problem with narrow boaters as they, like canoeists, can get washed off course.
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal wrote:
We might also have a problem with narrow boaters as they, like canoeists, can get washed off course.


If you can't handle a narrowboat in close proximity to a weir then you should let somebody else drive the thing.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should see the average Kennet and Avon Canal boater!!
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Baldybloke



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Kennet and Avon canal has always had water shortage problems which could be made worse if extraction takes place. Also the River Kennet has large amounts of water extracted to supply Swindon.
A way that could incorporate micro hydro might be to install them in the sluices on each lock. So everytime a boat goes through, electricity can be generated either to supply the grid or to operate pumps to backfeed the water. Just a thought.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The canal and river cross levels on their way through Newbury, Baldybloke, and there are quite a few sluices dumping excess water from the canal into the river. If an Archimedes screw is put in place of the sluice the dumped water is put to use, which is what is being proposed. The electrical output from a scheme using lock water wouldn't cover the capital cost of a turbine and pipework, given the limited use the locks have especially during the winter when the major flow and demand are.

I don't think there is actual abstraction from the Kennet, the abstraction comes from the chalk aquifers which supply the river. There is a guaranteed flow in the river which we have to maintain in our hydro scheme for Newbury. We might not have enough flow to run our turbines during drought conditions in the summer but in winter there is enough groundwater runoff into the river along its length to guarantee enough flow.

Drought conditions are ideal for PV during the summer which could make up for the lack of hydro. Also, as above, electricity use is lower in summer.
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think small hydro is being blocked by nimbys. Any documentation to support this?

One of the problems seems to be that it's difficult to build small hydro for small money. Kentmere has failed because of that. An example of how costs can run out of control is Settle Hydro (Archimedes screw). 410,000 to build a 50 kW installation (8.2m/MW installed). This is quite alarming when it's considered that Settle was exploiting an existing weir, and mill race. In other parts of the world, small hydro like this would be built using much cheaper comonents - a turbine with a plastic impeller, for example.

The other thing that seems to go wrong is that no one on these projects seems to have a clue about basic hydrology. Settle is clearly wrong sized for a river/catchment as large as the Ribble. They projected a capacity factor of 38 % but are achieving less than 20 %. A consequence of this wrong sizing will probably be that the generation station will cease production at the first mechanical failure because there'll be no revenue to support maintenance.
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

e.g.
http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland/Opposition-grows-to-Braan-hydro.2787961.jp
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's stretching the meaning of nimby.

There's no backyard near this scheme.

The canoeists are saying 'hey, we're using this bit of river, and we have been for some time. Go away'.

There's no divine ordinate that says that power generation trumps all other uses.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Newbury we're going for these for TASC.

They're about 100k to 150k and come as a self contained package that can sit on a preprepared foundation. They can work off a syphon input so there is no need to damage an existing river/canal bank.

We have been warned about objections from anglers and canoeists on other schemes.
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
That's stretching the meaning of nimby.

Agreed; it is more of a BANANA thing to be pedantic.
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You call it pedantic, I'll considerate it 'fair play'.

kenneal
Yes, but that's still 6m-10m per MW installed.


Last edited by An Inspector Calls on Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But I'd rather have a few of them in my back yard than a 1gig nuke a hundred miles away.
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