LEGISLATION & POLICY

The British Hydropower Association (BHA) is the only UK trade body solely representing the interests of the UK hydropower industry and its associated stakeholders at regional, national and global levels.  We keep an active role in monitoring and understanding the latest government legislation effecting all aspects of the hydropower industry.  Below you will find a repository of the main legislation and policy frameworks effecting the hydropower industry.

The BHA is not government-funded and anyone involved in, or with an interest in hydropower should be a member of the association.

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Regional Regulators

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England N. Ireland Scotland Wales Ireland

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Renewables Obligation

Renewables Obligation

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Draft Guidance for Generators

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Feed-in Tariffs

Feed In Tariffs

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Please note that the Feed-in Tariff closed to new entrants on the 31st of March 2019

Draft Guidance for Generators

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Essential Guide to applying for ROO-FIT Accreditation

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Water Frame Directive

Council Directive 2000/60/EC

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Policy on Large Dams

Recent scientific studies have shown that previously ignored carbon and methane emissions from reservoirs are a significant source of greenhouse gases, and these emissions are not just limited to the first few years of vegetation potentially drowning after a new reservoir is formed, emissions being significant for periods of 20yrs and beyond.

The BHA recognises the essential role that the science must play in the feasibility and carbon analysis of projects involving the formation of new reservoirs. It is important that projects that do not significantly contribute to the overall lowering of greenhouse gas emissions are not incorrectly considered as viable.

Too often a lack of knowledge and understanding of the positives and negatives of large dam projects have led to polarised debate with individuals either for hydropower or against it. The reality is that the difference between the positives and negatives of large dam hydropower is so vast that both camps can be right and wrong.

For example a new dam of say 150m in height, for example in the fords of Norway, might have a reservoir capacity that is very large from a relatively small surface area and be on a site with a large river flow. Calculations on drowned area and methane emissions show that the emissions are (including consideration of the very high global warming potential of methane, 25 times that of CO2) a very tiny fraction compared with the carbon savings from replacing fossil fuel power generation. However take the same set of calculations, for example the 128m high Kariba Dam on the Zambezi river at the Zimbabwe/Zambia border with its large shallow tropical reservoir, the yearly methane CO2 equivalent emissions come out significantly larger than the carbon savings from the yearly electricity generation.

When it comes to reservoir surface evaporation, another significant issue in some parts of the world, the difference from one project to another can be significant being dependant on surface area and climate/location.

The BHA support projects that provide overall significant benefit and we support every effort on the work that is undertaken to ensure that only environmentally beneficial hydropower projects are built with care for the natural environment through planning, construction and throughout their operation.

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Business Rates

Welsh Government – Small Business Rate Relief 2016-2017
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Hydro sector welcomes Scottish rates relief cap
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Business rates review – hydro sector response
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Consultations

The BHA responds to a numerous and wide-ranging variety of consultations every year and in this section you will find the responses to all those consultations to which the BHA has responded.  In many cases these responses have been drafted with the valuable assistance from BHA members for which we are most grateful!  If you would like to assist with responses to future consultations, please contact simon.hamlyn@british-hydro.org

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is a government department, which was created by in July 2016. It was created as a result of a merger between the Department of Energy and Climate Change [DECC] and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.  BEIS brings together responsibility for business, industrial strategy, and science and innovation with energy and climate change policy, merging the functions of the former BIS and DECC.

BEIS Departments
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Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) rates
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OFGEM Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT)
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The BHA submission to the DECC review of the Feed-in Tariff 2015/2016
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Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)

DEFRA is the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities. Defra is a ministerial department, supported by 33 agencies and public bodies, including importantly for hydropower, the Environment Agency.

Defra’s Website
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Defra’s Abstraction Reform Project Newsletter
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Abstraction Reform Consultation 2014 Outcomes
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BHA response to Defra’s Abstraction Reform Consultation
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Amendment to extend enforcement undertakings to flood risk activities (Jan 2018)
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Report Publication: The Benefits of Pumped Storage Hydro to the UK

This report was commissioned by BHA members Scottish Renewables on behalf of the Scottish Government to ensure that prior to the launch of the BEIS/Ofgem ‘system flexibility’ consultation a body of evidence was gathered outlining the benefits of the technology.

In Summary the report:

  • Puts forward the array of benefits the technology delivers – including system operational services and enabling increased renewable energy deployment.
  • Discusses current issues, mostly surrounding the lack of a visible route to market

The report puts forward a series of policy-based recommendations which are:

  1. Internalisation of economic externalities and missing markets
  2. Correcting distortions within network charging arrangements
  3. Reducing commercial risk associated with future policy decisions
  4. Introducing market mechanisms to recognise the long-term nature of the benefits of storage (such as a cap and floor)

Over the coming months the BHA will work with all members of PSH working group and other stakeholders, to review the report outcomes and agree further other action points.

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