Renewable energy: Micro-hydro, Biomass, Solar Water Panel
1st June, 2004
Unlike large dams, now widely acknowledged to be unsustainable and ineffective, micro-hydro involves the use of small mills and dams to provide clean energy and an alternative source of income for rural communities.
Renewable energy: Micro-hydro
Michro-hydro, unlike large dams, now widely acknowledged to be unsustainable and ineffective, involves the use of small mills and dams to provide clean energy and an alternative source of income for rural communities. In 1995 Miles and Gail Fursdon of Old Town Farm, Poundsgate, transformed the 1936 mill on their family’s farm into a micro-hydro power plant. With the help of eight friends, the Fursdons dug a 460 metre channel to transport water from a stream on their land to the new turbine, which they bought from the Czech republic. The turbine provides enough electricity to power not only their farm but also the three surrounding villages (about 80 households): some 400 megawatt hours a year which they sell back to the National Grid for £20,000. Having completely recouped their costs within five years the turbine has now become their primary source of income. Far from having to counter public opposition to their plan, the turbine has become a local attraction – with talks, slideshows and guided tours led for local businesses and schools.
Potential: Up to 15 per cent of the UK's 8,000 mill sites are...
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