- Sheffield Renewables
- Jillian Creasy,Cllr, GREEN PARTY, Central Ward, Sheffield
Please scrap Kelham Island hydropower plans
Sheffield Renewables' plans to build a ‘run-of-river’ micro-hydropower scheme in Sheffield are highly admirable but totally misguided. The scheme proposed for the Kelham Island Goit, an old mill-race channel running off the River Don at Kelham Island weir, will generate a very insignificant amount of electricity per year – estimated at a maximum of just 20 homes' worth of energy - to the significant detriment of extremely valuable urban river habitat.
The varied ecosystems of the River Don, and the Goit itself, are slowly re-emerging after centuries of harm by man's historical attitude to our waterways but the micro-hydropower project will actually perpetuate many of our old industrial mistakes, ignoring the evidence of modern-day ecology, and that presented by existing schemes on other watercourses. Further, there are considerable ‘unknowns’ regarding the cumulative effect of a series of micro-hydropower schemes along the length of a river and, at the moment, each scheme is assessed in isolation.
‘Eco-friendly’ options for power generation in a major city, such as household solar-panels, host no threat to wildlife and should instead be considered as viable solutions to climate-change but, sadly, in the case of micro-hydropower, government-backed financial incentives, and a ‘quick-win’ on the initial outlay compared to other renewable technologies, make micro-hydro seem very attractive to ‘community’ investors. Such initiatives draw investment away from the development of new, clean, and safe technologies that can potentially meet our growing energy demands.
Planning permission has already been granted for this scheme. You can view a short film exploring the ecological impacts of the scheme above, or view it along with other resources, here http://waterfeature1.blogspot.co.uk/. Thank you for your time!
- Sheffield Renewables
- Cllr, GREEN PARTY, Central Ward, Sheffield
I just signed the petition against your plans to develop a micro-hydropower scheme at Kelham Island on the River Don in Sheffield.
Please abandon your plans. Although I understand that your project means well, it will have an utterly insignificant impact on climate change and cause serious harm to the River Don's fragile, recovering, and valuable eco-systems. More sustainable and truly eco-friendly technologies are available to households across the city and I urge you, and your investors, to avoid repeating the mistakes of our industrialised past, especially given the tiny amount of energy that your scheme can only potentially produce. Sheffield's weirs can instead be modified to help promote real gains in bio-diversity and have potential to be used to educate new generations about the serious impacts that man's historical tinkering with aquatic and riparian environments has had in the name of power generation.
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