We support all forms of renewable energy, including hydro. We do not have a specific policy statement on hydroelectricity generation, but our general policy towards renewable energy is set out in our Renewable Energy Policy Statement .
Early planning stages of development
At the early stages in the planning process/ CAR licensing process, and before SNH enter into discussions about a hydroelectric proposal, we would advise that a developer should apply the SEPA Guidance for developers of run-of-river hydropower schemes . This sets out how SEPA intends to achieve Scottish Ministers' policy objectives and contains guidance on the developments that are likely to be acceptable in the context of the Scottish Ministers' policy statement . Emphasis will be placed on supporting hydropower developments which can make a significant contribution to Scotland's Renewable Energy targets while also minimising any adverse impacts on the water environment. Should your proposal prove to be provisionally acceptable using the SEPA guidance, we would be happy to provide you with further advice on assessing the impacts on the Natural Heritage, if required. Should you have any difficulty in applying the guidance, you should contact your local SEPA office for advice.
The impacts from hydroelectric schemes on Scotland's nature and landscapes can occur over a wide area. In considering these impacts, issues of particular concern are sediment transport, water quality and quantity, water temperature, morphological changes to running and standing waters, impacts on species (particularly migratory fish and fresh water pearl mussel), landscape, recreational use of rivers/burns and wild land qualities.
We have published guidance on hydroelectric schemes and the natural heritage . The guidance focuses on design and mitigation and is intended to inform pre - application discussions where we can influence site design. This is version 1 of the new guidance and we would welcome feedback and comments. Please send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
We have published joint guidance with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Marine Scotland on 'Guidance for applicants on supporting information requirements for hydropower applications' .
A 'Guide to Hydro Power Construction Good practice' is an SNH, SEPA and industry produced document developed to direct the construction industry to appropriate sections of existing guidance for pollution prevention measures.
These links-pages aim at providing developers, land-owners, decision makers and advisors with a collation of useful links which can be used to gather appropriate and required environmental information. It also directs developers to available guidance in order to complete an Environmental Statement and improve mitigation works to keep the impacts of a proposed and working hydro-electric scheme to a minimum.
SNH Commissioned Report 421: Assessing the impacts of small scale hydroelectric schemes on rare bryophytes and lichens This report considers the potential impacts of small hydroelectric schemes on bryophytes and lichens. Monitoring methods to detect these impacts are reviewed and recommendations for future monitoring methods proposed (2011).
SNH Commissioned Report 449: Bryological assessment for hydroelectric schemes in the west Highlands This report helps to clarify whether or not a bryophyte survey is needed for any particular hydroelectric proposal. It also provides guidance on how to assess whether hydroelectric schemes could have an impact of national importance on the bryophyte flora.
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