Reading Sustainability Centre goes hydro!

With all the doom and gloom of government cuts to the pre registration of Feed in Tariffs Reading Sustainabilty Centre have some good news. They have been planning to develop a hydro power scheme to supply renewable electricity generated by the fall of water at Caversham weir in Reading and they are moving ever closer to realising their goals.  In February 2014 they produced a feasability study which concluded that a continuous output of 52kW could be achieved.


Their last remaining survey for the first phase of the Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) grant is complete and they have been able to instruct their consultants at E- WaterPower to go ahead and submit their EA licence application. With this, if they get it, they will be able pre register for Feed in Tariff before the tarriff gets removed securing a income stream!


‘If we are seriously to tackle the major challenges posed by climate change”, said Professor Nigel Arnell Director of the Walker Institute for Climate Systems Research at the University of Reading, “we need to rebalance our energy system to use more renewable resources. In the past, the Thames has generated electricity for Reading and local communities, and there is enormous potential for it do so again: I strongly support this important new initiative from the Reading Sustainability Centre, which will make a great contribution to tackling climate change.’



Tony Cowling, a sustainability consultant from Sonning, said the turbines on the weir would be “low key, lower (noise levels) than anything else at the weir and would make a swishing noise”. Tony also said that he would like to think that these turbines could power “thousands” of low energy homes, but at the rate most people use energy at the moment, it was more realistic to suggest they would power hundreds of homes.


Phot0 credit: Steve Daniels

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