Small scale hydropower projects could help the UK meet its renewable energy targets, visitors to the British Hydropower Association's (BHA) annual conference heard.
Addressing the conference, Mendip Power Group chairman Anthony Battersby said small scale hydropower was one of the most cost effective renewable generation systems and urged the government to provide more incentives, according to New Energy Focus.
Such incentives could turn existing water mills into sources for a large amount of electricity.
He said: "Run of river hydro is ubiquitous, predictable with a high load factor and a very good payback factor. There are over 20,000 mills in the UK, of which we have data on 800. Of these 800, we can estimate an output of 370,000MWh, which is enough to power 8,600 homes for a year."
Feed-in tariffs, which pay renewable projects per unit of electricity generated, should be introduced alongside the existing renewable obligations certificates to encourage further development of hydropower.
According to the BHA, 25 countries, including Norway, are more than 90 per cent dependent on hydropower and 12 get 100 per cent of their energy from hydro.
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