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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Past Events

Find out about some of the previous events held by Durham Energy Institute:

DEI Workshop - Micro-hydro: technical, environmental, social and economic dimensions

30th May 2012, 12:00 to 16:00, Venue: Room W205, Geography Dept

Half-day workshop on "who is doing what" at Durham University.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.


There is increasing interest in micro-hydro power generation; partly driven by government policy (e.g. Feed in Tariffs, Environment Agency resource mapping, emissions reduction targets), new economic actors in the field (e.g. consultants, intermediaries of various kinds, Co-operative Groups), but also by communities interested in future energy provision and generation of local income. Pilot research conducted on micro-hydro in the Geography Department at Durham University has demonstrated that; i) many micro-hydro projects have recently been established in England, of various sizes and with multiple forms of finance; and ii) communities are involved in different guises in these projects, from passive bystanders to active leaders and owners of new energy schemes. This work found no clear trends between levels of investment, energy potential, and project success. It also suggests that micro-hydro is becoming a controversial and contested form of energy production. Given the current lack of research in this field, and the multiple social, environmental and technical factors at play, there is clear potential for researchers at Durham University and within Durham Energy Institute (DEI) to develop interdisciplinary work to examine the role of micro-hydro in decarbonising future electricity supplies.


The purpose of this workshop is to:

  1. Find out who in the University is undertaking research around micro-hydro
  2. Explore the possibility of researching local micro-hydro developments on the Wear as a case study for research
  3. Develop a network of University researchers and stakeholders to generate future research output on micro-hydro themes.

We hope to attract a wide range of academic researchers and stakeholders to this workshop.


The workshop will be split into two parts. The first session will be used for short presentations (5-10 minutes) from researchers across the University to introduce existing and future research around micro-hydro. The second session will be used to discuss plans for development of micro-hydro on the River Wear and how these could be used to support research.


Outputs from this workshop will include; a contact list comprising researchers and stakeholders interested in hydro themes, a document for DEI detailing researchers and projects around micro-hydro; a network of researchers interested in micro-hydro; and background for a future research application.

What to do now?

The workshop is free and all are welcome to attend, but registration is essential. 

To register, please contact Catherine Button ( or Louise Bracken ( ) stating whether you would like to present or just attend, and indicating whether you have any dietary requirements.