CROP Hydro

CROP - Background CROP - IntroductionCROP - BasicsCROP - BenefitsCROP - SupportRead our renewable energy action planFind the answers to some common questions

Renewable energy resources 

Wind Energy Icon Biomass Hydro Solar Energy Heat Pumps  Anaerobic Digestion Wave Energy Tidal energy

Identifying what renewable energy resources you have can help to inform what type of project you should take forward. There are a number of freely available sources of information to assist a community to decide on what type of project to develop.

Take a look at our matrix to help to identify which technologies might be most suited to your community.

Hydro Basics

HydroHydroelectric projects utilise the power of water flowing downhill to turn a turbine and create electricity. Hydroelectricity (also referred to as hydro or hydro power) is the oldest form of renewable energy generation in the UK and generates significant amounts of the country’s electricity.

Argyll and Bute has a significant amount of potential hydro thanks to a very high annual rain fall average.With such an abundance of water it should come as no surprise that nearly 70% of the total renewable energy generation in Argyll and Bute comes from hydro.

Garmony Hydro is a 400kw hydroelectric scheme on the Allt Achadh na Moine burn, near Garmony on the Isle of Mull. Funding has been generated partially from a local share issue which should allow construction to commence during 2014.

"Green Energy Mull (GEM) is an Energy Supply Company, and this company will own and operate the hydroelectric system. Any net profits remaining at the end of the financial year from operating the hydro scheme will then be gifted to the Mull and Iona Community Waterfall Fund which is a registered charity." - Green Energy Mull WebsiteMaps

To see other developments in your area view our interactive renewables map.


Case studies of community renewable projects can be found at

Community Energy Scotland  Local Energy Scotland Scottish Gov 

All have good case studies of community renewable projects around the country.

To find out more about hydro technology and how it works please see the links provided below:

Local Energy Scotland Hydro Energy Handbook

Energy saving trust provides a brief overview of hydro technology.

Brittish HydroBritish Hydro Association  - provides an informative step by step guide to mini hydro development on their website.

Community Energy Scotland logo 1Community Energy Scotland - Community Renewable Energy ToolkitSection 1 of the toolkit provides an overview of the basics of energy production, renewable energy and carbon counting whilst Section 6 of the toolkit includes details on the fundamentals of hydro, the different types of installation available and the steps involved in developing and operating a community owned hydro site.


The following organisations can provide assistance in developing a hydro project:

Council logo

Check out the CROP Support page for help in setting your own renewables project.CROP - Support

You can get advice from our Planning team.

The Community Development Team can assist in local consultation or developing a community action plan.

The Social Enterprise Team can assist with advice regarding social enterprises, grants and funding.


Local Energy ScotlandThe Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scotland (CARES) scheme is delivered by Local Energy Scotland, which aims to enable community and rural business uptake of renewable energy.  The CARES Toolkit will guide you through developing a renewable energy project and includes specific guidance on hydro energy.

 Community Energy Scotland logoCommunity Energy Scotland (CES) provide free and impartial advice to community organisations.

CentreforSustainableEnergylogoThe Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is an independent charity that provides advice, guidance and training to individuals, groups and organisations throughout the UK looking to become more sustainable.

Energy saving trustThe Energy Saving Trust offer free and impartial advice on small scale renewable energy technologies including hydro.  The EST’s renewable energy selector tool will help you to find out which renewable energy technology will benefit you most. Please note that the EST renewable selector tool only applies to domestic buildings.

Resource efficent ScotlandResource Efficient Scotland is a Scottish Government funded programme which helps businesses, the public sector and the third sector save money by using resources more efficiently.  The programme builds on the previous Scottish Government funded business and public sector advice services delivered by Zero Waste Scotland, Carbon Trust and EST so that advice on energy, water, materials and waste can be accessed from a single service.

DepartmentforEnergyandClimateChangelogoThe Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) works to make sure the UK has secure, clean, affordable energy supplies and promote international action to mitigate climate change. As part of this remit DECC provides an overview of the advice available for people and organisations interested in developing a community owned renewable energy project in the UK.

HIEHighlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are the Scottish Government's economic and community development agency for the north and west of Scotland that aims to generate sustainable economic growth in every part of the Highlands and Islands.  HIE recognises that communities can benefit significantly from renewable energy and provides support and advice to businesses and social enterprises looking to benefit from the renewables industry.

Foresty CommissionThe Forestry Commission are working with communities who want to develop hydro energy projects on Forestry Commission land.