Benefits for users
Anyone in the fortunate position of being able to utilise a river for their own use, can produce cost-effectively or significantly reduce their living and running costs. A hydropower plant is built to last decades, is robust and durable, and the operator is therefore aware of its costs long in advance. Security of supply is also very reassuring.
Hydropower operators are aware of their responsibilities
Anyone who invests in a hydropower plant usually does so with a vision. Not only in matters of the economy, but also to the same extent in matters of environmental sustainability. Small hydro makes an important contribution to the European-wide decentralisation of energy production without fossil fuels.
As a manufacturer we also have to take on our share of the responsibility
As a solid, a medium-sized company we deliver quality. Through our own work and the work of our partners and their components. All installed parts are, without exception, of robust production and meet the highest German industry standard. Our customers can therefore rely on a long-lasting system.
Hydropower plant operators are realists
Generally speaking, no form of energy production, is capable without some intervention in nature. The best any of us can do is to choose between large and small forms of intervention. In any case, small hydro is among some of the most environmentally friendly technologies.
To be sure
In addition to being cost-effective, investing in hydropower and using the electricity generated also scores points in terms of security and ecology. Hydropower is a logical and rational alternative to fossil fuels.
Benefits for the environment
Small hydro is not something on the same scale as the Edersee reservoir and dam in Hesse, Germany. However, as the experts also attest, smaller systems are an incredibly common-sense form of local electricity generation. Many countries are returning to small hydro. Always assuming that watercourse conservation is taken into consideration. The particular value here lies in decentralisation; power is available “on the spot”. It is understandable that the move away from centralisation – where the few get to dictate to the many – towards decentralisation – where the many get to decide for themselves – does not please everyone.
The facts for
Small hydropower plants are impressively efficient, have a uniform, predictable utilisation period over the year and are therefore baseload-compatible. They are CO2-free and, after a long service life of several decades, are 100% recyclable.
The ecological impact of smaller hydropower plants can be entirely environmentally friendly, if you pay attention to the details. Small hydro can even improve the ecology of the watercourse. If conservationists and operators work together, they are capable of producing some good solutions.
No forest has been felled for this electricity, no mono-culture created, no hazardous waste produced, no sea polluted, and there is no need for pipelines over thousands of kilometres. This prevents a catastrophe involving damage occurring across national borders and rubbish lasting for millions of years.
No grid problems resulting from peak load
This baseload-compatible form of electricity also causes no problem to the grid as a result of peak load. The first German electricity feed-in law for renewable energy was passed in 1991. Since then, the world has changed enormously. By contrast, our networks have remained the same.
All of us!
We must all take charge of decentralisation – and, of course, review our energy behaviour. This is the most environmentally friendly way – not consuming energy in the first place.
Our hydropower screws are not fast rotating turbines and therefore do not pose a hazard to migratory fish.
Hydropower screws use a special method: If a fish swims into the hydropower screw in the headwater, it gradually turns with it, moving downwards before swimming out on its way downstream. This is less of a shock to the fish, than it is for us to slide down a flume. Many, very many studies have clearly demonstrated that this does not harm the fish.
No fine grates required
Our robust technology only makes use of a coarse grate with a distance greater than 10 cm. This allows leaves, stones and branches to continue on their way. Unlike with fine grates, there is as little intervention as possible in the composition of the debris.
Protection of the waterside areas is important
Fish specialists and conservationists also recognise that today, agricultural land often stretches right up to the water’s edge. Substantial amounts of fertilisers and the removal of alluvial forest along the course of a river have a considerable influence on the number of fish. Where there are no trees to shade the water, it becomes too warm for the fish. When constructing a new weir or better yet, renewing and upgrading an existing weir system, aspects of the bank structure will be taken into account.
When constructing facilities to aid the upstream migration of fish, specialist planners also ensure that it is always possible to recreate structures typical for the body of water in question, such as pebble banks and sandbanks. Of course, this is time-consuming, but it all helps the system become part of the unspoilt natural environment.