Socio-technical viability framework for micro hydropower in group water-energy schemes

Kemi Adeyeye, John Gallagher, Helena M. Ramos, Aonghus McNabola, Paul Coughlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Most renewable energy (RE) studies focus on technology readiness, environmental benefits, and/or cost savings. The market permeation, viability and adoption of RE technologies like micro hydropower (MHP), however, require the alignment of other interrelated factors such as the so-cio-technical, institutional, and political dimensions. This is particularly the case where the energy recovery potential in decentralised water networks is being explored as part of a wholesome sustainability strategy by and for individual and communal prosumers. This study employs a socio-technical approach to understand factors that influence the perceived viability and adoption of MHP in group water-energy schemes. Methods included a progressive literature review to formulate a conceptual framework for the implementation of MHP systems. The framework was validated using survey data from representative stakeholders from groups schemes in Ireland and Spain. These stakeholders were sampled and surveyed at the stage of considering the adoption of MHPs in their water networks. The findings highlight the push-pull factors and discusses the opportunities and barriers to the adoption of MHP systems. It confirms that the market, institu-tional and policy context, cost and financial benefits, social support and collaborative services combine to influence the adoption of MHP technology. Thus, a framework for evaluating the socio-technical viability of MHP based on these more realistic integrated, multi-dimensional criteria is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Pages (from-to)4222
JournalEnergies
Volume14
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Conceptual framework
  • Micro hydropower
  • Socio-technical approach
  • Social adoption and viability
  • Community energy
  • Group water-energy scheme
  • Prosumers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Social Sciences(all)

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