This Hydroworld article sets out our poor support compared to the rest of Europe-

 “Support for small hydropower and development potential are not equal throughout the EU. Development of small hydropower is more challenging for a number of countries, generally in lower-  lying areas. Among these countries, Ireland, Hungary, the eastern Baltic states, and Denmark rank as some of the least-developed small hydro sectors.

Ireland ranks low in terms of installed small hydro capacity, with only 42 MW in 2010 and a projected total of 60 MW in 2020. The country has 50 plants online, with potential to build 10 more. The country has a generation potential from small hydro of 227 GWh/year. As a result of the low level of development, hydro-related employment is also low, with only 124 positions at 31 companies, and the market for developers is small.

Small hydro has struggled to gain a foothold in the Irish renewable sector since some large projects, including pumped storage facilities, were developed in the mid-20th century. Despite a permitting and approval process of less than two years on average, the cost to develop small hydropower has thus far been a deterrent to investors and developers alike, ESHA says. According to the report, investment costs range from €3 million to €6 million per MW in Ireland, while heavy producers Italy and Romania have average investment costs of €4.5 million and €3 million per MW, respectively. Additionally, small hydro development in Ireland, as in many other European countries, faces tremendous pushback from the fishing industry, which has worked to prevent development that has an effect on fish and their habitat. Environmental impact assessments for new hydro development are rigorous, and water flow availability is a common point of contention for developers and lobbyists.

While the recent adoption of a feed-in tariff program in Ireland may spur development, the government’s eyes are not on the industry as a heavyweight renewable contributor, ESHA says. This oversight diminishes the public’s perception of small hydro’s benefits and affects support of the industry.”

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About kingstonrenewableenergy

Kingston Renewable Energy (KRE), Hydropower products, wind energy, renewable energy products, We manufacture, supply and install. Richard Kingston KRE is the home of Fluxy, a beautiful Irish made wind turbine designed to last several life-times, and a host of other Hydro products branded under KRE hydro. KRE HYDRO- KRE are currently installing a range of Hydro products including high head low flow systems and low head high flow. These are pelton and Turgo types for high head, crossflow Banki turbines for medium to low head and Powerpal for Ultra low head. We also plan to introduce a custom timber/steel/aluminium waterwheel service for those of you who are lucky enough to have disused mills on their land and who would like to restore them to their former glory (and make a healthy profit in the process). All hydro installations are custom designed. This is necessary because everybody's land and water resource is different and to benefit from the highest efficiency and lowest payback time the hydro system must be customized according to what flow, penstock length required, and what head is available. Hydropower is currently by far the most cost effective renewable resource in Ireland under the existing Feed in tariff structure and export rate of 9c per unit (wholesale rate for bigger systems is €0.087/kWh). It is surprising how much energy is to be harvested from even a small stream and we are offering 4 to 7 year payback times on average and high profits thereafter. KRE FLUXY- It has been a long journey from when I originally set out to buy a wind turbine to power my own house in 2007 and discovered that the existing machines on offer in the market failed to meet my desires as a customer; that is, to possess an aesthetically designed machine with a low embodied carbon footprint and a long design lifespan. This led to my resolve to make this a possibility as I knew there were other like minded folks out there who had the same needs when buying into renewable energy. I have always been a keen environmental activist and had a strong understanding of engineering and material sciences which enabled me to see failings in the high tech electronically controlled machines commonly available today. These weaknesses come from over complicating the wind system with servo motors, sensors, gear trains, relays and logic circuits; fine for large utility scale turbines which are constantly monitored and have continual maintenance on site but not for a small wind turbine in the back yard to run the house. I could see that wind turbines needed to be brought back to a less complicated yet modern design that would withstand time and the turbulent and violent winds we see in Ireland and fulfilling the old engineers adage of ‘KISS’ or ‘keep it simple stupid’. With less component parts, there are less things to go wrong. My vision was to create a machine that offered the benefits of being an economic investment, a positive for the environment and also to be a design piece that our customers are proud to have flying in their grounds. And so, I present you with the fully mechanical Kingston Renewable Energy Fluxy wind turbine. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions or think you may have a good wind site. We will happily do a site assessment come rain or shine. Stay posted for the monthly blogs from our inspirational team here at KRE. Check out our latest installments in our crusade to get higher feed-in tariffs in Ireland so that we can compete with the rest of Europe in the micro-generation stakes. The Hydro section of our website will be updated shortly to show our newest installations and showcase our products. Yours sincerely, Richard Kingston

2 responses »

  1. Have a small lake which I would be interested in exploring as a means of producing hydro-electricity. Frank O’ Meara Co. Kildare.

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