The business of providing small, mini and micro hydro power schemes is growing fast. Governments are becoming increasingly aware that such schemes can offer a fast, inexpensive and environmentally sustainable solution to the energy needs of a large number of communities – often those in regions where grid-based electricity supply is impractical.
The growth of small hydro is nothing new to those in the industry; it has been steadily increasing for years. As the world’s supply of fossil fuels continues to dwindle and concerns over the environmental impact of CO2 emissions increase, it is likely that we can expect an even greater turn towards this renewable energy source.
To address the growing interest in small hydro, we will bring together a group of distinguished speakers from government, industry and client organisations at Small Hydro 2009, to be held in April in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
Our host country is well established as a global hydro super power. Although China has finally overtaken it, the North American country had long boasted the biggest hydro generating capacity in the world, with a further 163,000MW of technical potential identified. The country currently possesses 3300MW of small hydro generating capacity, with around 150MW added each year, but there is certainly an opportunity to greatly increase the contribution to national power requirements. According to the Canadian national government, 5500 small hydro sites have been identified, with combined generating capacity of 11,000MW, most of which are located in British Colombia, Newfoundland, Québec, Ontario, Northwest Territories and Yukon. In addition, 20,000MW of untapped capacity is believed to exist at sites with heads of less than 15m.
"For all who wish to be part of this growing industry, the Small Hydro 2009 two-day conference and exhibition will be the year’s most important meeting place."