This page is dedicated to information and opinion on Hydropower developments that are proposed on the river Thames.
Thames Anglers Conservancy statement:
The Thames Anglers Conservancy was founded on the premise of ‘Anglers dedicated to protecting and improving the river Thames’ and the message still holds true today, we support all green initiatives that improve the environment.
Our only requisite is that comprehensive scientific data is available to prove that there will be no adverse affects.
In 2008, the Environment Agency regional Director told the then Regional Fisheries Ecology and Recreation advisory committee that no further Thames Weirpools would be developed until the scheme at Romney had been fully assessed for environmental impact, in 2010 they broke that promise. The scheme at Romney is only just operational, this over 10 years on from conception.
The Environment Agency are helping developers on multiple Thames sites with little or no evidence as to the impact on the ecology of the weirpools. As anglers we understand how important these unique habitats are as principal spawning sites for fish such as barbel, chub and dace. Diverting the majority of the water through turbines not only deprives the weir but also reduces/redirects the energy of the water. This will have a drastic impact on the weirpool fishery environmentally and effect many different species, including the abundance of invertebrates, which are the lifeblood of our rivers.
Consequently, despite our support for clean energy initiatives, we feel that until all the necessary scientific data is available, we will campaign against all Hydropower developments on the Thames.
The Thames Anglers Conservancy sits on the Environment Agency Thames Regional Fisheries, Ecology and Recreational Advisory Committee (RFERAC) Hydropower Sub Group
The Angling Trust is aware of the projected effects of climate change on our fisheries and supports the drive towards a lower carbon future. But this cannot be at the expense of the river environment and our fisheries. Run-of-river hydropower, where schemes have no stored water and only use the immediately available flow, is a low carbon source of energy and the Trust recognises its benefits, tiny though they are, but also the potential impacts. The Environment Agency is in a difficult position as it is directed by Government to promote sustainable development, including sources of renewable energy, as well as the duty to protect the environment and, for example, maintain, improve and develop all fisheries. The Trust feels it has got the current balance wrong with its approach towards hydropower, and has been campaigning for a review of the EA’s “Good Practice Guide” to hydropower developers.
The TAC is rightly concerned about the proliferation of schemes being promoted on Thames weirs. The EA owns the weir infrastructures and are actively seeking expression of interest from hydro developers. Thames anglers understand how important these unique weirpool habitats are not only as an angling resource but especially as principal spawning sites for such as barbel, chub and dace. Diverting the majority of the water through turbines not only deprives the weir but also reduces the energy of the water. This must have a drastic impact on the weirpool fishery and effect many species, yet the EA are promoting these schemes without a clue as to their impact.
Dr Alan Butterworth BSc PhD FIFM CEnv, Technical Director, 28/05/2011
DUPED! The great hydro-electric con trick -The Spectator Sep 2012
SNIFFER report August 2011 – Impact of Run of the River Hydro Schemes upon fish population
‘End of The River’ A highly significant video released in November 2012
Energy produced by small hydropower installations is per definition “renewable” energy – but “green” or “clean” it is certainly not. This film is produced to inform about the small hydropowers devastating impact on our rivers and the life in them.
The WFD is the most substantial piece of EC water legislation to date and is designed to improve and integrate the way rivers, lakes and esturies are managed throughout Europe to safeguard the health of our water environment in the future.
Environmental objectives ‘The aim is long-term sustainable water management based on a high level of protection of the aquatic environment’.
Current Mid/Lower Thames Hydropower Schemes promoted by the Environment Agency
20/12/2011 Queens Green energy scheme near completion
05/10/2011 Romney Weir gets ready for Hydropower
23/09/2011 Submissions end for the Hydropower Hydropower Good Practice Guidelines Consultation
04/09/2011 The Environment Agency reveal the proposed Thames Hydropower Schemes
21/07/2011 End of the ‘Expression of Interest’ for proposed Thames schemes at Boulters, Marlow and Boveney weirs
01/07/2011 Consultation on the review of Hydropower Good Practice Guidelines begins.
28/04/2011 New proposals for more Thames Hydropower
22/03/2011 Hydropower – making it easier
17/02/2011 Hydropower on the Increase
23/06/2010 Hydropower and the Thames Region report