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Before you apply

Hydropower Guidance Notes and supporting information

Dates for submitting abstraction and impoundment licence applications for hydropower in advance of Feed in Tariff deadlines

The Governments Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme, designed to support the uptake of renewable energy technologies, is currently scheduled to close at the end of March 2019.

As a result we anticipate an increase in the number of licence applications we receive for hydropower developments in advance of the FiT scheme closure. We are advising developers to submit their licence applications early so that sufficient time is available for us to complete licence determinations in advance of the deadline.

For schemes that are complex, have a high risk of affecting geomorphology or fish, or may affect a designated site for nature conservation and protected species then we recommend that developers submit a pre-application enquiry to us. There is no charge for this service and we will aim to respond within 45 working days.

We will aim to complete licence determinations to meet the current FiTs closure date of end March 2019 if we have received valid applications by the following dates:

  •  Pre-applications 10 July 2018
  •  Full applications 26 October 2018

Applicants should ensure that their applications are complete, clearly presented and include the appropriate fee. Supporting information including photosurveys, technical drawings and evidence of Rights of Access should also be complete and well presented. This will help us to process applications quicker. Please read our guidance on how to apply and what information to submit with an application.

Applications that are of poor quality or have incomplete supporting information may be rejected or incur delays in licence determination.

Hydropower Guidance Notes and supporting information

Hydropower schemes can be complex and need to be designed and managed carefully to avoid unacceptable impacts on communities and the river environment. For example, changes to a river can increase the risk of flooding and have significant impacts on wildlife, especially fish.

We have published Hydropower Guidance Notes (HGNs) and Supporting Guidance Notes (SGN) below, which provide advice and technical guidance for designers and developers of hydropower schemes.

The  notes will also provide guidance on what you should do to comply with environmental and other legislation. We strongly recommend that you read this guidance before you start to choose the location and design of your schemes and before you make any pre application enquiries or formal applications.

You will need to apply for one or more licences, approvals or consents depending on the type of scheme you are proposing. These are needed to ensure your scheme has a low impact on the environment. They may include controls or conditions on your scheme including, for example, how much water you can abstract or impound, or environmental design requirements such as the need to build a fish pass or easement.

Related document downloads

Supporting Guidance Note - SGN 1 Rights of access guidance for abstraction licences PDF [205.7 KB]
Supporting Guidance Note - SGN 2 Geomorphology photosurveys for hydropower developments PDF [1.6 MB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 3 Water Framework Directive PDF [119.3 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 4 Designated Sites PDF [210.4 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 5 Cumulative and in Combination Effects PDF [116.3 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 6 Nature Conservation, Heritage, Amenity and Landscape PDF [159.1 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 7 Competing schemes PDF [187.6 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 8 Fish passage PDF [187.6 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 9 Fish Screening PDF [334.2 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 10 Geomorphology PDF [334.8 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 11 Monitoring PDF [204.6 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 13 Approvals, Licences and Consents PDF [418.2 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 14 Weirs PDF [125.9 KB]
Hydropower Guidance Note - HGN 15 Weir pools PDF [155.0 KB]

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