Why you need a licence for your hydropower scheme
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.
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.
Before you apply
We have published Hydropower Guidance Notes (HGNs) and Supporting Guidance Notes (SGN) which provide advice and technical guidance for designers and developers of hydropower schemes. The guidance 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 can find all of the guidance on our ‘Before you apply’ Hydropower page.
How to apply
Full information on how to apply for the licences needed, as well as relevant application forms and guidance, can be found on our ‘How to apply for your hydropower scheme’ webpage.
Please note: If you are considering developing a hydropower scheme, and have preliminary details of your proposal we strongly recommend that you submit a pre-application prior to applying formally.
If you would like to talk to someone about hydropower schemes, you can contact our Permitting team on:
• Tel: 0300 065 0300
• Email: email@example.com