River Rothay running through White Moss Common copyright Charlie Hedley


Lake District National Park Hydropower Scoping Study

With rising fuel bills and an increased awareness about reducing carbon emissions, people are more interested than ever in hydropower as a form of renewable energy. We are committed to reducing carbon emissions throughout the Lake District National Park, and want to help local communities remain vibrant and become less reliant on external energy sources.

Our fells and high rainfall mean that we have a large number of watercourses in the National Park, and some of these may be suitable for hydropower schemes. The National Park also has a history of weirs and turbines that were used to power mills.

What's in the first report?

Inter Hydro Technology, a Kendal-based company, have produced a report looking at some of the potential for hydro electric sites in the National Park. The report includes:

  • A summary of 55 sites throughout the National Park
  • Basic hydrology of each site
  • Catchment parameters
  • Estimated gross head available - meaning the height of the drop from one part of the watercourse to another
  • maximum and annual average energy output
  • simple payback time calculation

It does not include any detailed analysis or site visits or an environmental assessment of the sites.

Useful links

Please note that it has two sections and may take some time to download as the files are quite large at 4MB each.

What's in the second report?

We have met with Natural England, the Environmental Agency and the National Trust to consider the possible ecological impacts of hydropower development at several sites in the National Park. We agreed that some sites will be highly sensitive to development, and any development would have significant adverse effects on nature conservation or would require significant mitigation.

We also agreed that other sites identified in the report may be less sensitive, and that is scope for further work on these sites to properly assess their potential for hydropower generation.

Useful link