Sunday, 4 August 2013

HYDRO-ELECTRIC SCHEMES KILL FISH

This piece gives the details of how thousands of new hydro-electricity schemes are being proposed for UK rivers, in order for owners to profit from the subsidies available for green energy. However there is a dark side to this superficially attractive-sounding scheme which has received little publicity so far.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhasp you'd like to visit the British Hydropower Association's website for the evidence "How does hydropower affect fish populations?" (www.british-hydro.org).

Anonymous said...

Thousands of projects? - more like a hundreds... Most of these projects include impressive new fish passage measures to greatly improve the fisheries habitat in the area. No modern hydro system licenced under current EA / SEPA guidance could possibly cause harm to fish. I think your rather alarmist headline should be aimed at Victorian hydro developers, but clearly doesn't apply in the 21st century!

Anonymous said...

This nonsense from Cuckson has already been comprehensively torn apart by numerous people who have taken 2 minutes to actually research the matter. I suggest you do the same rather than blindly swallowing this rubbish as fact.

Anonymous said...

Every fish caught by an Angler has been injured in some way. Not the least by having a hook stuck in its mouth. It has to be admitted that most survive this if they are returned to the river. However every fish an Anglers kills and takes home for the BBQ / to eat / to sell does not survive.
If there are thousands (actually nearer hundreds (low hundreds)) of hydropower schemes there are 10's of thousands of Anglers. The proportion of damage to the fish populations is far exceeded by the Angling effect. A properly screened scheme to stop fish from being endangered is part of the requirement for all schemes.
As mills once paid their rent in eels and this practice stopped a couple of centuries ago why do we have a shortage of eels? Is it partially because Anglers use eel meat for bait?

Derek Tipp said...

Interesting comments, Anonymous, I do not have the time to carry out research, but I merely draw your attention to the article. Anglers pay money for their sport, but if the fish stocks are reduced significantly it could seriously damage the sport.

Henry Reily-Collins said...

We live in an age where, thankfully, any new development is scrutinised with an in-depth environmental outlook.

Thank goodness the research done for each project in this regard is far superior to the appalling research that was carried out for the article you have posted.

Comments and vociferous advocacy against good hydropower, based on a shadow of a memory from the Victorian ages, will do nothing but leave us in such dark ages.

Your energies are greatly needed in looking for the best way forward for the wider environment. Please avoid unnecessarily slowing the excellent work of those who are actually and busily making a difference to the World Wide issue of climate change.

Derek Tipp said...

Henry - do you think the current wind turbines are also innocent of causing any deaths and injuries to our feathered friends? As for climate change (aka global warming), haven't you heard it seems to have stopped 16 years ago.

Matthew Smith said...

I point you to this article showing that wind turbines do kill birds. However, Cats are a larger killer of birds than wind turbines could ever be!

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/cats-more-lethal-to-birds-than-wind-turbines.html

With regards to hydro power, the industry is helping the environment agency improve rivers by installing fish passes connected to hydrpower schemes. The EA could not afford to install fish passes themselves due the the current economic climate.

The improved fish passage inland to areas of rivers that fish have not been able to reach for hundreds of years mean that there are larger areas for fish spawning which should lead to larger fish populations.

I would also like to see the article or research of climate change stopping 16 years ago. can you provide this?

Renewable energy development is not only to help with reduce harmful gasses in the atmosphere but also increase our (United Kingdoms)energy security. We are the 3rd highest importer of gas in the world, this leaves us very vulnerable to running low on supplies ( due to countries refusing to trade) and the lights going out.

If you could provide a short term solution to our energy needs i would like to hear about it? I would also like to say that you should also consider the whole country not only anglers.

DerekTipp said...

Hi Matthew. Are you saying that because cats kill more birds than wind turbines, the turbine killings are ok, or do you want a cull of cats?

As to the accuracy of the article, I can only repeat that I have not the time to do research. I merely point out that the article exists and presumably the author did some research.

Regarding the wind farms being good for energy security, I would draw your attention to the obvious fact that wind is not reliable and so back up is required, mainly gas turbines. Short term we will have to rely on imported gas. In the medium term we must extract the huge shale gas deposits.

Finally you asked for evidence that global warming has ceased 16 years ago. Here is a link to an article with the information http://www.thegwpf.org/david-rose-the-really-inconvenient-truth-about-global-warming/

Matthew Smith said...

Hi
Shale gas technology is a limited resource and abstraction of this gas in not to the level that we currently consume.

With regards to the wind turbine question i don't say we need a cat cull i merely point out that humans have put up with cats killing bird since we have been on this planet and what do they provide. Wind turbines provide energy!

Do you not except that the extra money that hydropower is providing will help to make the rivers more habitable for larger fish populations?

Matthew Smith said...

Please also see this with regards to warming trends.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/monitoring/climate/surface-temperature.

Global temperature have natural variability, however to get a global temperature trend long term data needs to be used.

Without evidence to back up your theories you are unnecessarily harming a good industry.

Derek Tipp said...

Hi Matthew. I would not write off shale gas so easily This article gives a real idea of what is there.

I am afraid that your Met Office link did not work, but I accept completely that a short term trend is not representative of what the long term might be. Please note that the period of global warming itself only went from 1976 to 1997, so we have no long term trend in either direction, other than mild warming through the 20th century (in total 0.81 Celsius +/- 0.12)

I have no theories, I merely pointed to an article, as I have said. Readers have to evaluate it for themselves.

Wind turbines do provide energy, but as I stated earlier it is intermittent and has to have back up on hand. Hydro-electricity does have its uses, but there are drawbacks as the article mentions.

Anonymous said...

Are you travelling down the up escalator with regard to climate change? http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

There is no dark side nor any fish kills with hydro. If you haven't got time to research what you happily repeat - maybe you need to look at how you prioritise your time.

The total number of schemes registered with Ofgem under the feed in tariff from the first two years (latest data available) was 69. Which is some way off your "thousands" statement.
There are three recorded cases with the environment agencies from the last 20 year period in the UK involving 14 eels in two cases and 40 trout in the other (source FoI request to the EA). When compared to the number of dead fish from anglers who hold 800,000 annual rod licenses (source EA) servicing a purported 4.2 million anglers in the UK (source Angling Trust) and add in the +1,000 fines our water utility companies notched up in the last 9 years for pollution, over abstraction etc (source - FoI request Observer). But we can always ignore evidence and blame something we "feel" that should be to blame.

for a full debunking of the cited Pippa Cuckson article cited above (who clearly knows nothing about renewables and should jog on by sticking to the horsey stuff she does):

http://www.british-hydro.org/downloads/Press_Releases/Spectator%20article%20-%20somethings%20fishy%20-%2001%2009%2012%20-%20BHA%20critique%20a.pdf.

Brad maddox said...

Every fish caught by an Angler has been injured in some way. Not the least by having a hook stuck in its mouth. It has to be admitted that most survive this if they are returned to the river.

Anonymous said...

However every fish an Anglers kills and takes home for the BBQ / to eat / to sell does not survive.

Brad maddox said...

Are you travelling down the up escalator with regard to climate change? http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

Anonymous said...

there is not right

Brad maddox said...

There is no dark side nor any fish kills with hydro. If you haven't got time to research what you happily repeat - maybe you need to look at how you prioritise your time.

Anonymous said...

The total number of schemes registered with Ofgem under the feed in tariff from the first two years (latest data available) was 69. Which is some way off your "thousands" statement.

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