Monday to Wednesday and a small team of us were up in the British Hydro Association annual conference in a very grey Glasgow. Just like the very grey rest of the country! The hydro industry is in a state of flux (again) but if you have been in the industry long enough I think you come to realise that doing hydro business in the UK is at best ‘exciting’ and at worst demoralising. Goal posts are shifted or actually someone takes the ball with them every now and then. We are in that goal shifting phase again. But hydro engineers being hydro engineers usually get inventive. The conference was all talk of what might and might not happen after the FIT consultation but also there was much talk of trying to get innovative with technology to increase yield, increase income with energy trading, reduce cost or make things simpler and smaller. Our very own Bear Grills of the hydro world Garry Sharples was on stage sharing our approach to hydro aesthetics which can also have a cost reduction implications. Oli’ from Derwent hydro was also in full NT hydro sharing mode with his presentation on joint working at the 50kw Kaplan at NT Quarry bank Mill.
Whilst in Glasgow we also spent time with our friends from the Fit for the Future Network sharing tales of change but also looking at future work.
Overall I left with a little bit more optimism which is a sign of a good conference despite the dark clouds of cuts in the air. There are options and there will be life after a consultation!