Though definitions of what size constitutes a micro hydro system vary, it often refers to systems with outputs of less than 50 kilowatts (kW). These work in the manner outlined already, that is, by taking in water from a river and converting it into electricity. These often require less building work than do larger systems.
Home and business owners may find that micro hydro systems will comfortably produce all the electricity they require annually and more. Hydro systems are therefore highly suitable for properties, business units and farms which are not connected to the national electricity grid.
Theoretically hydro systems could obviate the need to pay energy companies anything at all, as the electricity generated by hydro systems can also be used for space and water heating, meaning that you do not need to rely on harmful fossil fuels such as gas, oil or coal.
What’s more, if you are connected to the grid, the remaining electricity can also be sold to electricity companies at a fixed rate under the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) export scheme (more on this here).