Hydropower is the name given to power produced from falling water. This has been an important source of energy in Ireland for centuries supplying mechanical power for milling and many types of production.
About 6 percent of Ireland's electricity production is from hydropower. The Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station, built in 1920s, is still the country's largest renewable energy generating unit.
Today, however, the focus of hydropower development is on much smaller projects. Around the country, more than 40 independent hydropower producers are generating electricity for their own consumption or for sale to the national grid. A recent report concluded that there is potential for a further 71 MW generating capacity from small-scale schemes (ESBI Report). This would provide enough energy for over 46,000 homes.
For more information, see our leaflet Small Scale Hydropower