Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Community owned 25kW scheme exporting directly to the grid. The grant funded design and permission of approximately £15,000, construction cost £150,000, annual FIT income £23,000. Down to £20,000 a year after allowing for maintenance, repairs, and rental. The community benefit will depend on the cost of finance and the proportion of grant funding for the construction. Over the 20 year life of the FIT regime this might amount to as £400,000 to the community. This can then be further invested.
15kW farm scheme may generate £15,000 in FIT income, reduce energy bills by up to £2,000 (electricity and part heating substitution) on a cost of £100,000. After the c. 7 year payback, the income from the hydro may well exceed that from agriculture.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Built 16 schemes with total peak output =312 kW;
secured planning permission for 33 schemes with total peak output =546 kW;
received NRW abstraction licences for 35 schemes with total peak output =661 kW; 7 sites currently in construction with total peak output =154 kW(as of December 2014); a further 30 other projects (not included above) in design and planning =725 kW peak capacity.
The total annual output of all 70 projects either in design and planning, with licences or planning permission, in construction, or completed =1,535 kW.
Of these 70 projects 41 are for private landowners, 20 are for community groups, 9 are for the National Trust Wales.
Assuming the Co2 reduction to be 450g / kWh then the constructed scheme CO2 saving is approximately 562 tonnes.
Our 8 community woodland groups have generated approximately 250 cu m of stacked logs saving 100000kg Co2e
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
We estimate up to 3,000 opportunities in Wales for schemes <50kW of which only a minority have been evaluated and perhaps only 1-200 have been/are being developed. Beyond Wales, the design and construction methods we have developed can be applied to any high head location. The benefits of renewable energy to isolated rural communities is clear and hydros are quite simple electro-mechanical systems that can be understood and maintained without high technical capacity.
Going forward we aim to focus more on community schemes and to develop our own schemes that will provide our long term funding.