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Use a stream or river to generate
Hydroelectricity systems generate electricity from running
water - usually a small stream. Small or "micro" hydroelectricity systems can
produce enough electricity for lighting and electrical appliances in an average
Hydroelectricity systems are also called hydro power systems or
just hydro systems.
See how hydroelectricity can work with your
* How do hydroelectricity systems work?
* The benefits of
* Is a hydro system suitable for my home?
Making the most of hydroelectricity
* Costs and
How do hydro power systems work?
Hydro power systems use
running water to turn a small turbine which generates electricity. The faster
the water flows and the more water there is, the more electricity can be
The amount of electricity a system actually generates depends
on how efficiently it converts the power of the moving water into electrical
Hydro power systems convert
potential energy stored in water held at height to kinetic
The benefits of hydro systems
your carbon footprint: hydroelectricity is green, renewable energy and doesn't
release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants.
Cut your electricity bills: hydroelectricity is free, so once you've paid for
the initial installation you'll reduce or even eliminate your electricity
* A lower cost option: installing a hydro system
can be expensive, but in many cases it's less than the cost of getting a
connection to the National Grid.
* Cheap heating and hot
water: a hydro system may generate more electricity than you need for lighting
your home and powering your electrical appliances - so you can use the excess to
heat your home and your hot water too.
Is a hydro system
suitable for my home?
To tell if a hydro system is right for you, there are a
few key questions to consider:
* Is there a river or
steam close to your home? You'll need access to a fairly fast flowing water
course, and the right to build around it
* Does the
water flow vary significantly during the year? If so, the hydro system may not
be able to supply you with all the electricity you need during dry months. If
you're not connected to the electricity grid, you'll need a backup power
* Do you want to sell excess energy? Hydro
systems can be connected to the National Grid if a suitable connection point is
available. Any electricity you generate but don't use can then be sold to
electricity companies. Read more about selling your own
Making the most of
To make the electricity you produce go
* use low energy bulbs throughout your
these produce the same amount of light as
conventional bulbs and use up to 80% less
* invest in
energy efficient appliances. Find energy saving products
Costs for installing a hydro system vary a lot, depending
on the location and the amount of electricity it can generate. A typical 5kW
scheme suitable for an average home might cost €25,000 - €30,000 including
Savings depend on the amount of hydroelectricity that is
used in place of electricity bought from another source. If the hydro system
replaces electricity bought from the National Grid then typical savings could be
Maintenance costs vary but are usually low as hydro systems
are very reliable.