The Thematic Network on Small Hydropower

What is the Thematic Network on Small Hydropower?

The Thematic Network on Small Hydropower (TNSHP) is a European Commission - DG TREN (Transport & Energy) – and Swiss Government funded project in the framework of the EU’s FP5 (Fifth Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration) within the specific programme: Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (ENERGIE).


The TNSHP aims to identify the future Research and Market needs of the SHP sector within the EU and the Candidate Countries in order to overcome barriers and promote better exploitation of the resource as regards costs, public acceptance, integration into energy systems, technological issues, environmental impacts and fulfilment of White Paper targets on installed capacity.


ESHA, the European Small Hydropower Association, is the European co-ordinator of this project which includes ten additional partners: ADEME (France), Studio Frosio (Italy), (Austria), SERO (Sweden), EPFL-LCH (Switzerland), MHyLab (Switzerland), SCPTH (France), ISET (Germany), IT Power (United Kingdom) and the Lithuanian Hydropower Association (Lithuania).

The TNSHP runs for 36 months starting from March 2003.

What are the key topics of the TNSHP?

  • Marketing for SHP, SHP Statistics and SHP public image.
  • Environmental integration: integrated design, social acceptance, bioengineering, reserved flow, environmental effects of water abstractions from rivers, assessment of environmental impact, multipurpose use of water resources.
  • Engineering aspects: Civil engineering works (weirs and water storage, water intakes, fish migration, erection costs, waterways), mechanical equipment (technological developments of turbines, adequacy of technology for new SHP as well as refurbishment of existing SHP plants) and electrical equipment (generators, operation modes, control and monitoring, etc.)


How is the TNSHP organised?

The network is composed of:

  • A Steering Group that oversees the network activities and is responsible for policy issues and quality and control of documents produced for publications.
  • Three key discussion groups organised around the key topics are dealt by the thematic network.
  • e-network (electronic networking)
  • Network Secretariat


TNSHP publications


TNSHP workshops


With the support of: