December 01, 2019
Hydropower advantages, disadvantages and UK incentives

Capturing the kinetic energy of the water is one of the earliest clean energy generation methods, and it remains just as important today. Hydroelectric power can be very affordable and doesn’t deplete the resource it relies on, but usually requires large and complex projects before the exploitation can begin. 

Major advantages:

  • Large energy yields
  • Fully renewable resource
  • Very reliable and stable supply
  • Dams assist with flood control

Major disadvantages:

  • Disruptive to ecosystems
  • Diverts water from other uses
  • Expensive to set up exploitation

Available incentives in the UK:

  • Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) – Many older hydropower installations are still rewarded by FIT for all the power they export to the grid and will continue to be long into the future. Another way for producers to profit from FIT is through the offset value of electricity used at the site.
  • Renewables obligation certificate (ROC) – electricity produced with hydropower is considered clean, and thus eligible under the rules of the ROC program. As the UK mandates that suppliers include a certain percentage from renewable sources, steady producers of hydropower can easily trade their certificates for more liquid assets or cash.
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