The role of water as a multi-faceted necessity for humans cannot be more stressed upon since the many adaptive uses that were demanded of it by civilizations; water has met most of them or in some cases - all. Nature's most wonderful resource never ceases to amaze imaginations as it proves to be a resource with the capacity to generate power in many forms whether be it hydropower or steam power to produce electricity to power communities and their needs.
The historical nature of water as a resource to civilizations can be gauged by the early uses of Hydropower which was used for irrigation, milling of grain, textile manufacture, and the operation of sawmills. Imperial Rome was one of the first nations to pioneer the organized usage of exploiting energy from moving water wherein water powered mills produced flour from grain, and in China and the rest of the Far East, hydraulically operated ""pot wheel"" pumps raised water into irrigation canals.
There is no international consensus on the definition of small hydropower (SHP). In China, it can refer to capacities of up to 25 MW, in India up to 15 MW and in Sweden small means up to 1.5 MW. However, a capacity of up to 10 MW total is becoming the generally accepted norm by ESHA, the European Commission and UNIPEDE (International Union of Producers and Distributors of Electricity).
The trend towards SHP in Europe has been enhanced by the European Commission's White Paper on renewable energy and by the EU Renewable Electricity Directive (RES-e Directive).
Key Topics Covered:
A. Executive Summary
B. Small Hydropower in Europe
C. Environmental Integration of Small Hydropower Plants
D. Small Hydropower in the EU
F. Glossary of Terms
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