Renewable Energy Foundation

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Small Hydro is Best Performer in FiTs Stable

The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) today announces the publication of its on-line searchable database of the small renewable energy generators subsidised under the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme, available at  Analysis of that data and related Ofgem renewables data show that small hydro is the best performer in the FiTs stable.

The database is based on material released quarterly by Ofgem following a Freedom of Information request by REF in 2010.

REF is also publishing an information note on the performance of the FiT scheme in its first year (, the key findings of which are:

Growth in small solar photovoltaic (PV) projects accounts for nearly all the increase in installed renewable microgeneration.

The geographic location of favoured areas for solar PV includes significant concentrations in Sheffield, Barnsley, and Rotherham, suggesting that factors other than resource availability are driving adoption.

Historical average annual load factors for all microgenerators suggest that small hydro could deliver more energy than micro PV or wind, with the better hydro sites able to command good returns for investors.

The FiTS generators installed at 31 March 2011 would generate approximately 140 GWh per annum, which is 0.1% of the 119 TWh required to meet the EU 2020 target for 15% of renewable energy.

Government expects that the FiT scheme will deliver 6 TWh of renewable electricity in 2020. This is would require current output to increase more than 40 times in 9 years.

Dr Lee Moroney, Director of Planning for REF said: “Our data analysis shows that small hydro is producing respectable volumes of renewable electricity and satisfactory returns on investment, yet it has been overlooked in comparison with domestic solar PV. Given the scale of the targets before us, adoption of a broader range of microgeneration would be desirable.”


For more information please email Margareta Stanley on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or telephone 020 79303636/ 07968049832

Notes to Editors

The Renewable Energy Foundation is a registered charity promoting sustainable development for the benefit of the public by means of energy conservation and the use of renewable energy. See REF is supported by private donation and has no political affiliation or corporate membership. In pursuit of its principal goals REF highlights the need for an overall energy policy that is balanced, ecologically sensitive, and effective. REF makes freely available the most comprehensive database of renewable energy generator performance in the United Kingdom:

Download this file (pr 18 05 11 Final.pdf)PR FiTs 18 05 11
Last Updated on Monday, 15 August 2011