Frans Bouwers from Belgium responded to William Hill’s news item on watermills and green power (see the thread “Anyone interested in Mill News?”) by pointing out some of the problems with turbines in Flanders. His email follows:William
Interesting bit on watermills and green power.
Do all these millers that are so happy to generate electricity, realise that the big problem is flooding?
We know the problems already in Flanders were the authorities are firmly against converting watermills to electrical powerplants due to the increased risk of flooding caused by the year round high water level needed to run the turbines of the power plant.
The fear for flooding is so big that in the province of Limburg, the old traditional watermills are allowed to operate (store water), only once a month and then only for a few hours and with low risk of rain.
On rivers, the situation can be different.
A small mill generating electricity is a good way of keeping the miller at home.
It looks good to generate so called “green power” but reality is not that simple.
Besides, there is the small problem of fish migration that has to be realised by 2010 or 2015 in Europe. In order to achieve that, big money is needed to make fish bypasses, etc….