Small scale hydro power

To offset the impact of climate change we must get much more of our energy supplies from renewable technologies powered by water, wind and sun. However, renewable technology must not dominate or ruin the landscapes they are helping to save – so small scale technologies are the most suitable in our national parks. There is also relatively low demand  for energy here in rural communities without major industry.

Micro hydro power fits the bill perfectly in the Peak District, where there is plenty of rain and fast flowing rivers running down from the hills.  We also have a rich legacy of water power.


Join the Forum

If you are interested in joining the Peak Hydro Forum - a group of site owners and other people interested in using local rivers to produce hydro power - please contact Andy Tickle. It held its first meeting in July 2010 and aims to promote good practice in micro hydro and encourage more schemes to be developed.


The facts

We spent three years surveying and analysing over 150 river sites which were mainly old watermills that had fallen into disrepair. We found eighty that could be developed as sources of local hydro power in the future. Read the results in our Peak Power report.


Peak Power - pdfs 

Peak Power - appendices

  • Appendix B1 part 1  and Appendix B1 part 2 (the results of the Geographical Information Systems constraints analysis for old mill sites in the Peak District National Park)
  • Appendices B2 and B3 (the results of the Geographical Information Systens constraints analysis for non-mill sites in the Peak District National Park, and all sites outside the Peak District National Park)
  • Appendices C, D, E and F (Appendix C is flow and power estimates for the ten case study sites; Appendix D is grid connection and turbine cost estimates for the case study sites; Appendix E is a list of useful websites for more information, suppliers and funding; Appendix F is a list of the project advisory group members) 

Authors and funders

Peak Power was compiled by Friends of the Peak District with help from technical consultants T4 Sustainability and the Devon Association for Renewable Energy


It was funded by

  • Peak District Sustainable Development Fund
  • East Midlands Community Renewables Initiative
  • Chesterfield Steels Group