British Hydropower Association

The British Hydropower Association (BHA) is the professional trade body representing the interests of the UK hydropower industry and its associated stakeholders in the wider community at regional, national and global levels.

Our vision translates into the following aims and objectives:

• Effective lobbying and liaison with key decision- makers in government and other agencies
• Co-ordination of events and creation of marketing opportunities for members
• Promotion of hydropower to government, financial institutions and the general public in the UK and overseas
• Technical advice and information resource
• Exporting opportunities for UK hydropower
• Networking and support

Membership of the BHA covers a wide range of hydro interests and expertise: design and consulting engineering in all disciplines, developers, contractors, generators, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, project managers, financiers, insurers, operators and investors, and specialists in hydrology, fish protection and other services. We can therefore help to provide excellent supply chain solutions on a worldwide scale.

The BHA promotes hydropower, the pioneer of renewable energy, both at home and abroad, increasing awareness of its quality and scope in the wider world. Hydropower is one of the most reliable, predictable and least environmentally intrusive of all renewable energies. We strive to ensure that its potential is realised.

The BHA has grown substantially since its establishment as a trade association in the mid-1990’s and is moving from strength to strength.

Significant achievements have been made in the BHA’s work programme and in its expanded services to members. The membership has grown and evolved with the industry and the BHA now has the ability to offer commercial benefits and real services to the sector.

As an organisation, the BHA has played a key role in representing our industry and in winning policy and regulatory support that has allowed our industry to grow. We work closely with the Department for Business Enterprise & regulatory Reform (BERR) and it’s Department of Environment & Climate Change (DECC), along with other national government departments and agencies to ensure that hydropower is recognised as a key contributor to the energy mix.  Support from the BERR and UK Trade & Investment has allowed us to develop and raise our profile and through the BHA our members have the opportunity to bring to the attention of policy-makers issues that need to be addressed.

We encourage our members to be active within the association and this enables us to develop a focused strategic direction.

The BHA holds a pivotal position and will continue to be the catalyst in this sector by responding to political challenges and securing support for key initiatives and deliverables in order to maximise opportunities and respond to the challenges we face as an industry.

Statement from the CEO

The BHA is the only organisation fully representing the UK Hydropower Sector. Our members range from hydro developers and generators, investors, consulting engineers to manufacturers and suppliers of equipment. We work within the UK and overseas supporting and promoting the whole of the hydropower industry.

Whenever “Renewables” are mentioned, hydropower is rarely considered. This is because it is a well-established technology and, taken purely as a source of generated electricity, it could be argued that it has not much more to offer in the UK. However, this is a long way from the truth. The main problem the UK hydropower sector has is dealing with its success over the past 150 years.

It is a proven technology – yes, the first water turbines were built in the mid 1800’s but they have been developing ever since. Turbine efficiencies are rarely below 80% which is about double that of a steam turbine. Constant and continuing design improvements have brought efficiencies of over 90%! Research and development continues into providing new and more cost-effective solutions and improvements to the design and engineering of new schemes.

Most of the hydropower in the UK has been developed – yes again, but there is still sufficient
undeveloped potential worth pursuing. At present 40% of the UK’s renewable generation is provided by hydropower – a fact rarely mentioned!

Globally, 17% of energy is supplied – and will continue to be supplied - from hydropower sources. The UK has been involved with the export of equipment and services for about 150 years – we still have the expertise and it is still involved in business worldwide.

It is a time of change and growth for the hydropower industry and the BHA has some interesting and challenging work ahead:

• Continuing dialogue and involvement with the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive and water the streamlining.
• Ensuring hydropower development, in all its forms, is considered and supported by the UK Government’s renewable energy polices.
• Streamlining licensing procedures to implement new and refurbished hydropower schemes
• Implementing a programme of meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences around the UK based on current issues, providing fora for discussion and networking opportunities.
• Supporting the industry’s export drive by coordinating UK hydro participation in
conferences, exhibitions and seminars worldwide and continuing our work with UK Trade & Investment and the overseas Posts at British Embassies and High Commissions.
• Developing more and deeper relationships with Ministers and government departments, taking advantage of relevant support mechanisms in order to maintain and improve the status of hydropower as a major renewable energy source.

Please contact us – we will be delighted to help.

David Williams, CEO

Hydro Facts

Greater awareness of the potential damage to the planet from global warming has lead governments and multinational organisations to take measures to mitigate the impacts of human activity on the climate. With little or no CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and high energy payback, hydropower supports clean development and is recognised as being fully renewable and sustainable.

• Hydropower is the world's No.1 source of renewable energy and produces almost 20% of the world's electricity.

• Less than one third of the world's practical hydro capacity has been developed.

• Hydro beats all other electricity generating technologies with a pay-back ratio of 300 (energy produced/energy to produce) – this is ten times more than oil-fired power stations.

• There are no direct CO 2 emissions from hydro projects.

• Small hydro schemes have minimum visual impact on their surrounding environment.

• Approximately 40% of the UK's renewable energy is provided by hydropower.

• 25 countries depend on hydropower for 90% of their electricity (99.3% in Norway); 12 are 100% reliant on hydro. Hydro produces the bulk of electricity in 65 countries and plays some role in 155. Canada, China and the USA are the three largest generators of hydro electricity. Vietnam has over 2,500 micro-hydro schemes producing electricity for over 200,000 household. Even relatively flat countries can generate hydropower.

• Hydropower, after 150 years as an electricity generating source, is still one of the most inexpensive ways to generate power.

• Most large hydro stations have dams but thousands of small hydro stations have no dams – they are ‘run-of-river' schemes and make a minimal impact on the environment.

• Hydro is the only renewable technology that can be used to store large quantities of energy in a clean environmentally-friendly way. This is done by reservoir storage and pumped storage schemes.

• Hydro installations can have a useful life of over 100 years – many such plants are in existence worldwide.

• Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd of Kendal, England, has manufactured hydro turbines for longer than any other company in the world.

• A modern hydro turbine generator can convert over 90% of the energy in the available water into electricity. This is more efficient than any other form of generation.

For further information please contact us

British Hydropower Association

12 Riverside Park
Station Road
Dorset, BH21 1QU
Tel: 01202 880333
Fax: 01202 886609


Types of Hydropower jobs

Hydropower Mechanical Engineer
Site Supervisor – Hydropower
Civil Engineer
Hydropower Component Machinist
Hydropower Construction Sheet Metal Worker
Hydropower Operations Maintenance Worker
Hydropower Plant Efficiency Operator
Hydropower Plant Installation Technician
Operations Supervisor
Hydro-Electric Power Generation Engineer
Supervisory Facilities Specialist
Project Manager
Water Resource Program manager
Marine and Fish Biologists
Hydropower Electrical Engineer
Hydropower Structural Engineer
Fisheries Biologist
Electrical Engineer
Principal Dam Hydropower engineer
QA Engineer
Hydropower Civil project manager
Senior Plant Leader
Hydropower Structures Project Manager
Hydropower mechanical maintenance
Renewable energy & Power systems Scientist/Engineer
Hydro Modelling

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