A new study carried out on behalf of the Scottish Government has revealed that Scotland has almost twice as much potential for hydro electricity than previously estimated. The new estimate is that 1.2 Gigawatts of new hydro energy can be created from more than 7000 schemes, compared to 657 Megawatts estimated in a previous study from just over 1000 schemes.

The study (an update of a study carried out in 2008) takes into account micro-hydro schemes under 100 kilowatts (kW), each of which would generate enough electricity to power more than 50 homes a year. The seven-fold increase in site numbers since the 2008 study is largely in the sub-100 kW range, which have been included because micro-hydro generation attracts a favourable Feed-in Tariff. SEPA are expected in 2010 to develop guidance to facilitate siting and authorisation of sub-100 kW schemes.

The full report, The Employment Potential of Scotland's Hydro Resource, can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/01/19141527/0