Guide on how to develop a small hydropower plant

Resources
  • Preparation
  • Implementation
  • Technical
  • Europe

Developing a small hydropower site is not a simple task. There are many aspects which have to be taken into consideration, covering many disciplines ranging from business, engineering, financial, legal and administration. These will all be necessary at the different development stages, from choosing a site until the plant goes into operation.

This guide, divided into nine chapters, brings together all of these aspects in a step-by-step approach, and helps a potential small hydropower developer understand better the different issues, phases and procedures required to be followed to run a small hydropower plant. The first chapter introduces basic concepts, such as the definition of small hydropower, types of schemes, or ways of exploiting the water resource available, and gives a general overview of the guide’s contents. The following chapters describe the essential steps to be followed to evaluate a proposed scheme before deciding whether to proceed to a detailed feasibility study.

The main concepts addressed in the guide are the following:

  • Topography and geomorphology of the site.
  • Evaluation of the water resource and its generating potential.
  • Site selection and basic layout.
  • Hydraulic turbines and generators and their control.
  • Environmental impact assessment and mitigation measures.
  • Economic evaluation of the project and financing potential.
  • Institutional framework and administrative procedures to obtain the necessary consents.

Further knowledge

Explore related resources

Procurement guide cover
Europe

Procurement guide for community energy

A guide that presents different options in which municipalities may be able to adapt their public procurement processes to better support energy communities.

  • Implementation
  • Operation
  • Financial
  • Political & legal
Digital tools guide illustration
Europe

Digital tools for energy communities – a short guide

A guide that identifies and shortlists practical examples of digital solutions for energy communities in different scopes of application.

  • Preparation
  • Implementation
  • Operation
  • Staff & organisation
  • Technical
Wind turbine
Europe

Financing guide for energy communities

This guide provides a very first introduction to community energy financing. To make it easy to read and hands-on, it includes 14 practical and recent financing stories of European energy communities.

  • Inspiration
  • Preparation
  • Financial
Support from professionals

Questions about your energy community?

Whether you don’t know where to start from or you are stuck with a specific issue in the development of your energy community, an expert can help you.