ESHA Publications


ARE (Alliance for Rural Electrification) have released a paper that focuses on the innovative aspects of small hydro to make it a competitive technology for rural development with case studies from Smart Hydro Power, UNIDO- Regional Center for Small Hydro-Power in Africa, Fundacion Solar, Guatemala, financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The paper provides detailed technical information, explains the considerable benefits of small hydro as well as its role in reducing energy poverty and creating business development. Detailed case studies are given that outline possible challenges for SHP development within Latin America with viable economical and sustainable solutions provided. It also addresses the current challenges, opportunities and public sector support for small hydro in Latin America. 



Statistical releases from the STREAM MAP project

This study is based on the findings of the EU funded STREAM MAP project (2009 – 2012), coordinated by ESHA (the European Small Hydropower Association). It contains information regarding the statistical release of energy, market and policy data. One of the main outputs of this project has been setting up the European Hydropower database (HYDI) covering both large (LHP) and small hydropower (SHP). It has to be mentioned that so far such a database, covering all the EU hydropower sector statistics both for large and small hydro, including pumped storage power (PSP) has been absent. 

If you would like to find out more please click the image on the right that will take you the document. 


The Small Hydropower Fact Sheets

ESHA has recently published its new Small Hydropower Fact Sheets. To know more about small hydropower from an energy, environmental, economical or general perspective, as well as about the current challenges and ESHA's policy recommendations, download the fact sheets by clicking on the image on the right!

Small Hydropower Roadmap

Small Hydropower Roadmap

Condensed research data for EU-27

SHERPA Small Hydropower Argument Sheets

Procuded in the Framework of the SHERPA IEE project.  A set of argument sheets for the promotion of Small Hydro including four sheets on Policy Framework, Environment, Sector and Technology.


Small hydropower engineering: a wide area of innovations for green power generation

The Thematic Netwok on Small Hydropower has published a leaftet on SHP engineering innovations.

Engineers working in the small-hydropower (SHP) field today keep on developing techniques specific to small hydro­power, in order to respond to the needs for increased environmental integration, decreases in costs and maximisation of electricity production.

Download the leaflet


State of the Art of SHP in EU-25

This Brochure has been developed under the Thematic Network on Small Hydropower (TNSHP) project.

On 1 May 2004, eight Eastern European and two Mediterranean countries: the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, (EU-10) joined the EU. Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey (Candidate countries- CC) are expecting to join the EU in the near future.

The enlargement of Europe gives a great opportunity to transfer experiences on SHP development to the New European Members States. This publication gives an overview on the SHP sector in the new enlarged Europe in terms of market development, policy issues and industry status.

Download the leaflet.


Brochure on Environmental Integration of Small Hydropower Plants

This brochure has been developed under the Thematic Network on Small Hydropower (TNSHP) Project.

On a global level there is no doubt about the benefits of converting energy via SHP plants (climate change mitigation, security of energy supply) – the same view can be taken on a regional level (local development and employment). On a local level there are of course some impacts, which can be quite clearly defined. The identification of these impacts and the measures to minimise and compensate them is the main idea and intention of the brochure.

This brochure has been produced in English, German and Italian.   


Proposal for a European Strategy of Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) for Renewable Energy from SHP

The Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Strategy document presents the priorities for Small Hydropower short-term research. In other words, it seeks to shatter the myth that there is no longer a need for funding for SHP research.

Developed by the Thematic Network on Small Hydropower (TNSHP) through the FP5 funded Project, the document details the key priorities in terms of electromechanical equipment, control and monitoring systems, environmental integration, civil works, and administrative and marketing issues. This summary of the main strategy document recalls the agenda for the whole priorities divided in technical and non-technical ones.

Download the Proposal

Download the Summary


Small Hydropower situation in New European Member States and Candidate Countries

This report has been prepared within the FP5 Project Thematic Network of Small Hydropower, with the support of the European Directorate for Transport and Energy, by the Lithuanian Hydropower Association and ESHA.

The study gives an up to date overview of the potential of small hydropower electricity production in new European Member States and Candidate Countries.


Guide on How to Develop a Small Hydropower Plant

This guide aims at giving potential developers of small hydropower plants comprehensive information and advice on all necessary procedures for developing a site and includes the key steps to be followed in order to run a plant.   

The guide is an updated and adapted version of the publication "Layman's Guidebook on how to develop a small hydro site" published in 1998. It has been carried out under the coordination of ESHA with support from the European Commission in the framework of the FP5 project Thematic Network on Small Hydropower and the Swiss Government.

This guide has been produced in English, French, German, Italian, Polish (Part 01, Part 02), Spanish (Part 01, Part 02) and Swedish. If you wish to receive a CD-ROM copy of this, please send us an email.


Small Hydropower Checklist

This checklist has been carried out under the Thematic Network on Small Hydropower FP5 project. The Small Hydropower checklist aims at:

  • Giving potential, and even inexperienced, developers/investors of small hydropower plants first-hand comprehensive information and advice on all necessary procedures required to start developing small-hydropower projects.
  • Its objective is to guide the investor/developer so as to determine the viability of a project, using a simple step-by-step process.
  • This checklist can be used in combination with the "Guidebook on How to Develop a Small Hydropower Plant", where all the necessary steps mentioned in the checklist are explained in more depth and detail.

Download the Checklist in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.


Report on Statistics: Overview of the last decade 1990-2001

ESHA has carried out this report in the framework of the FP5 EC funded project “Thematic Network on SHP”. The report compiles the main statistical information on small hydropower plants in the European Union from 1990 to 2001.

The aim of this report is to offer practical and concise information on the development of the SHP sector during the last decade through statistical analysis. Indeed, little or no statistical information on SHP is available or easily accessible at European level, which makes it difficult - not only for individuals but also for national bodies - to analyse the real situation of the SHP sector. Small-scale hydro plants include plants with installed capacity of less than 10 MW are also included in this publication.


Blue Energy for a Green Europe

The BlueAGE study carried out in 1999 – 2000 has developed six main subject-areas concerning the possible exploitation of SHP energy in Europe:

  • It gathers data on the actual state-of-the–art of SHP development on the European continent
  • It assesses the potential for future SHP development, both in terms of upgrading the oldest existing plants and building new sites. In doing so the study has tried to point out the difference between the so-called “technical potential” and the “realistic potential”, that is, what could be exploited given the existing economic, administrative and environmental constraints.
  • It analyses the economics of SHP sources in order to understand how competitive SHP is today with respect to the other principal power generation technologies.
  • The analysis focuses on the main constraints which the countries analysed put on the development of SHP plants.
  • The study analyses the situation and competitiveness of the EU manufacturing industry in the SHP sector.
  • The report aims to give some concrete recommendations in promoting SHP development in the short and medium term, suggesting some good policies and “best practices” to achieve this goal.

The study is based on data collected from more than 95% of the total electricity produced in the EU and from over 90% of total electricity production in other European countries which are not yet EU member states. Data from more than 17 400 different SHP plants in Europe has been used.



Reserve Flow: Effects of Additional Parameters on depleted Stretch

This report has been prepared within the FP5 Project Thematic Network of Small Hydropower, by the Austrian Small Hydropower Association, and Studio Frosio in Italy.

The report tries to prove the thesis that the reserved flow downstream of a weir or a dam can be reduced - achieving a better environmental result - if the effect of the following additional parametres is duly taken into account in the reserved flow calculation: length of diversion section, tributaries, slope and riverbed structure.

The thesis is proven through the description of a case study. The scope of the document is not to give a solution as such, but to stimulate discussion among the major key actors in the field and to provoke counter-examples aiming to the confutation of the thesis.


Reserve Flow: Short Critical Review of Methods of Calculation

This report has been prepared within the FP5 Project Thematic Network of Small Hydropower, by the Austrian Small Hydropower Association, and Studio Frosio in Italy.

The report aims to give a quick and wide overview about the different methods proposed for reserved flow calculation from both the regulatory and research points of view.

The overview itself gives the opportunity for pointing out the merits and lacks of the main method groups, with the scope not of entering an infinite scientific discussion about the best method, but to stimulate a more general discussion on the role of reserved flow in river protection and on the global consequences of reserved flow on the environment and on, more specifically, the chances of small hydroelectric plants surviving it.



EC. 1994 C.Penche. For the report please click here