Helping hydro

Have your say

After reading the spate of attacks on wind power, I was encouraged by Richard Jardine’s Platform (Perspective, 23 December).

There is a tendency to forget that hydroelectricity is a reliable, renewable source of energy, though it represents 14 per cent of renewable electricity capacity in the UK.

Government figures suggest that about 1.5 per cent of electricity in the UK is generated from hydroelectric schemes, mainly in the Scottish Highlands, as opposed to more than 98 per cent in Norway.

Scotland will never reach the scale of its Nordic counterpart. Upscale developments, dictated by the confines of landscape and environment, are no longer viable.

However, there is obviously scope for small-scale hydro resources. Even old watermills can be sympathetically refurbished and brought into a community electricity network.

If the hydroelectric scheme on the River Tummel in the 1950s could be managed to create a safe environment for fish and turned into a tourist attraction, surely similar, current issues can be handled on a lesser scale.

Maybe a fresh look should be taken at any economic (including incentives), environmental and planning issues that hold back micro-hydroelectric schemes, while the present, operational difficulties with and objections to the development of wind farms persist.

Shirley Seaton

Eskmill Villas