Small scale hydropower, and its even smaller micro hydro power, has been used in previous centuries as a means for harnessing water for grinding flour, milling grain and even for some manufacturing. At a larger scale, the big dams generate only electricity or mass large scale usage. Micro and small hydropower is on the same concept, that of using water to generate power and electricity. There is one major difference, that of ecology and scale. Micro hydropower generated electricity does not change the ecological balance. It only 'borrows' the water, which is run through the turbine, and then the water continues on its path as it would have done without the turbine. It does not change the ecological balance of the fish and other live organisms in the water. Those turbine units used for grinding flour or seeds at the time when they are not generating electricity, or in combination with generating electricity, leave a fine residue which the fish and other live organisms in the water feed on, thereby happily enjoying the additional food, before swimming on down stream, where the water continues its path.
- Micro-hydroelectric energy is a continuously renewable electrical energy source.
- Micro-hydroelectric energy is non-polluting - no heat or noxious gases are released.
- Micro-hydroelectric energy has no fuel cost and with low operating and maintenance costs, it is essentially inflation proof.
- Micro-hydroelectric energy technology is a proven technology that offers reliable and flexible operation.
- Micro-hydroelectric stations have a long life and many existing stations have been in operation for more than half a century and are still operating efficiently.
- Micro-hydropower station efficiencies of over 90% are achieved making it the most efficient of energy conversion technologies.