BHA urges UK Government to support hydropower and save billions

30 March 2023

The British Hydropower Association (BHA) has called on the UK government to prioritize the accelerated delivery of proven, predictable, and quickly deployable hydropower technology. In the wake of the Government's plans for Powering Up Britain, the BHA urges policymakers not to overlook the hydropower industry, which has provided net zero electricity to communities and industries in the UK and globally for over a century.

The BHA has welcomed recent progress made by its members and the Welsh Government in advancing hydro technologies, including the planned development of Britain's largest new pumped hydro storage scheme in four decades by SSE. The Welsh Government has also made funds available through the Tidal Lagoon Challenge to support new tidal lagoon projects, and the BHA has championed the role of run-of-river hydro in delivering predictable electricity to rural communities.

According to Kate Gilmartin, CEO of the BHA, while the Government's support for new and unproven technologies like CCUS and hydrogen is encouraging, it is essential to ensure that proven technologies like hydropower continue to be deployed to mitigate risks if other technologies do not materialize on time.

The BHA emphasizes that the partnership between industry and government is critical to making progress and delivering energy security and a fair net-zero transition for all. The BHA remains committed to promoting a collaborative approach to advance hydropower technology and maximize its benefits.

The UK Government's Powering Up Britain plan outlines its strategy for transitioning to a low-carbon energy system by 2050. The plan aims to tackle climate change, create jobs, and ensure energy security while maintaining affordability for consumers. The key measures include a push for renewable energy sources, including offshore wind, nuclear power, and carbon capture and storage. The plan also emphasizes the importance of energy efficiency, electrification of transportation, and the role of new technologies like hydrogen and small modular reactors. The Government says it intends to work with industry and international partners to achieve these goals, and the plan sets out specific targets and milestones to track progress.

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