Small Hydro Power - Investor Guide

This Application Note introduces the theory and technology behind small hydroelectric power (SHP) stations (defined as units below 10 MW). The Note gives a detailed discussion of the basics of SHP, the types of equipment, turbines and generators in use, the selection and assessment of suitable sites, planning and licensing requirements, financing, and economic justification. It includes a decision-making checklist and covers the environmental aspects and requirements for small hydroelectric projects, such as the provision of fish bypasses.

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Hans De Keulenaer's picture

The European Small Hydropower Association offers an extensive publication library:

By Hans De Keulenaer 07/12/2007


  • Flowing water is not a pure source of revenue. A solid technical and financial analysis should precede each stage of the project implementation.
  • The choice of the potential location is based on technical parameters like head and flow, but also on regulation, security, environmental, and financial arguments.
  • The right choice of type and number of turbines is crucial to harvest the full energy potential of the site.