How we beat hydopower

warrenslaney

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Jun 13, 2006
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Youlgrave
One of the first things to hit you when you discover a hydro scheme is being proposed is just how far it has advanced before you found out about it. The Developer will have spoken to the EA and worked with them through a pre-ap. The is a process that enables the EA to advise the Developer on the best way forward. It is here that the consent is actually given and the people who should be on the side of the river sit firmly in the Developers camp.
Fact; The EA are told to facilitate hydropower on rivers and so have had their role of fisheries protector compromised. They consent schemes that conflict with their primary role of maintenance, improvement and development of rivers. What is more, because they are the sole protector of rivers, their consent often removes any ability to fight the scheme on environmental grounds. ‘If the EA say it’s OK, it must be...’

The second thing that hits you is that the public are behind the scheme from the off via a dishonest use of figures. The lowest possible amount of electricity that could possibly power a house for a day is quoted and rolled out to give a total number of houses that will fully benefit from the scheme. The impression is very firmly planted in the minds of the public that those houses will be local. This creates a feel that the generated electricity can be identified. Lovely.
Fact; The electricity generated by the scheme is almost always over stated. The average house uses three times more electricity than the figure alluded to. Any electrons generated by hydropower will spread throughout the grid and will not stay local.
 

warrenslaney

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A community interest company (CIC) approached the owner of a mill to join forces to get a scheme on the Derbyshire Wye in Bakewell. I happened to find out about it through the company who drew up the pre-app papers, after they had the courtesy to let me know. It turned out to be a war for a few months, but we beat them and removed the threat for the time being. My big worry was that a cross –flow fish mincing turbine was proposed along with a huge depleted reach.

We won by pulling their project apart. Every aspect of their proposal was scrutinised. I considered the loss to fry making their way downstream and the blockage to adults making their way upstream. I used technical data to demonstrate an impoverished environment in the depleted reach. My friends joined me and we rallied public support by providing truthful information to dispel the myths being perpetrated by the CIC. This all went on a website built for the purpose. I got the press involved and we wrote letters to the local paper. I got the politicians involved although it is a brave politician who stands against ‘green energy’. We then went to the person who supplied the grant to allow the CIC to do the scoping and the application process- they never use their own money. Finally we drew attention to the changes that would occur to a mill race, much loved by the community for its water voles.

Eventually, the CIC just melted away and we heard no more about it.
 
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richardw

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May 18, 2006
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10,555
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On the banks of the Derbyshire Wye
Re: How we beat hydropower

A community interest company (CIC) approached the owner of a mill to join forces to get a scheme on the Derbyshire Wye in Bakewell. I happened to find out about it through the company who drew up the pre-app papers, after they had the courtesy to let me know. It turned out to be a war for a few months, but we beat them and removed the threat for the time being. My big worry was that a cross –flow fish mincing turbine was proposed along with a huge depleted reach.

We won by pulling their project apart. Every aspect of their proposal was scrutinised. I considered the loss to fry making their way downstream and the blockage to adults making their way upstream. I used technical data to demonstrate an impoverished environment in the depleted reach. My friends joined me and we rallied public support by providing truthful information to dispel the myths being perpetrated by the CIC. This all went on a website built for the purpose. I got the press involved and we wrote letters to the local paper. I got the politicians involved although it is a brave politician who stands against ‘green energy’. We then went to the person who supplied the grant to allow the CIC to do the scoping and the application process- they never use their own money. Finally we drew attention to the changes that would occur to a mill race, much loved by the community for its water voles.

Eventually, the CIC just melted away and we heard no more about it.
The real way to beat hydro is to make it too expensive to install. You do this by removing your weirs!

The key difference between the Bakewell case and most others was that you found out about it with enough time left to do the fighting for public opinion based on facts about the environmental impact. As you point out in your OP usually it is a fait accompli by the time most folk learn of what has been decided behind their backs.

The EA is in collusion with the hydro developers and works for them and against the rivers. They even have staff called "Permitting Officers". It's all presumed from the off that the job is to permit rather than protect.

This usually means anyone with an interest in the river's welfare simply cannot win unless there has been some slip up like the case of Sawley on the river Trent. There it had all been done and dusted with a licence to abstract already given to the developers. All environmental arguments were to no avail. Fortunately, the folk devising the scheme had got into the groove of riding roughshod over all opposition and overlooked the property rights of the angling club. The hydro scheme was going to include fencing the anglers out of their access to the river. That was a no-no as far as the judge was concerned so the scheme was ruled out and the anglers won the day thanks to bringing in Angling Trust/Fish Legal who spotted the breach in the anglers' rights. So, even though the EA had already allowed the hydro, it was still possible to stop it. The anglers were prepared to fight. They were members of AT/FL so got some good legal brains on their side. Warren is right. It can be stopped if you get stuck in!

richard
 
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brucefly

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Nov 4, 2010
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267
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England
You don't 'generate electrons' :whistle: but yes i don't agree with the scheme either. Remember an article in trout and salmon about a loch that had a dam built at one end, it looked in a very sorry state


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easker1

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Nov 10, 2010
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Highlands
we have to live with Hydro Schemes all over the Highlands, but the modern Schemes have to provide an Environmental Impact Study, more so if there is the slightest chance that there are Migratory fish concerned, The misleading statements from the companies involved are the same as the wind farm developers by how many houses that would be supplied , I asked a guy not to say " would be " but "Could be" as there was no guarantee that any houses locally would ever be supplied from these schemes, this man wasn't amused
ask to see an environmental impact study, easker1
 
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