Small hydropower plants in Europe

The website of the European Small Hydropower Association – ESHA,, contains updates on small hydropower in Europe.

On this site ESHA published a series of documents essential to understanding the small hydropower including a database in hydropower for all member countries of the European Union,

Small hydropower plants worldwide

  • Approximately 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water.
  • There is no international consensus on the definition of SHP. In China, it can refer to the capacity of up to 25 MW to 15 MW in India and in Sweden to 1,5 MW.
  • EU recommends to consider SHPs, hydropower plants with installed capacity exceeding 10 MW. Romania took the recommendation and transposed it into law.
  • Asia, especially China, has become a leader in hydroelectricity.
  • Currently in Australia and New Zealand places great emphasis on small hydropower.
  • Canada, a country with a long tradition in the use of hydro energy, stimulates the production of hydroelectric power, as a substitute for expensive diesel fuel for the power supply to isolated communities that can not be supplied by the central power system.
  • Markets such as South America, the former Soviet Union and Africa, has good potential but unused.
  • In 2000, the installed capacity in SHPs in the world was around 37 GW. The World Energy Council (WEC) estimates that the current policies, the installed power in small hydro will increase to 55 GW by 2010, the sharpest increase was in China.