The new DECC scheme, which will allow UK households and communities who install generating technologies such as mini-hydro projects and small wind turbines to claim payments for the low carbon electricity they produce from, shows strengthened tariffs for hydro in line with extensive work carried out by the BHA for the consultation process.

“This helps to reassure those who finance new hydro projects, thus encouraging realisation of hydro’s vast potential in the United Kingdom,” said BHA Chief Executive, David Williams.

However, the association has released a statement which says that certain issues may affect the the fulfilment of the total potential development. These are mainly to do with schemes which, whilst waiting for the announcement of FiTs, have pre-registered for the old system within the Renewables Obligation (RO). If this was done before April 2008, scheme owners can no longer apply for FiTs and cannot afford to complete the scheme under the RO.

“This effectively quarantines a number of projects trapped in this time limitation. We must fight to get the structure modified” said Williams.

Another area of contention is the inability to use refurbished equipment for the FiTs regime. One of the big advantages of hydro power is that, with refurbishment, hydro plants can last easily for one hundred years, said the BHA. Under the RO refurbishment was allowed and now it is not – again limiting some schemes.

Williams added: “This is an excellent support system which, with a bit of tweaking, will help to meet government targets in the battle against climate change.”