Going with the flow-Pico hydro power

Turbines smaller than 10 kW are usually called "pico". Pico hydro power is rarely fed into a power grid, but in most cases electricity is delivered to a village or a workshop. As there are varying definitions of the power range of of "micro" and "pico", it is advantageous to specify each project's power output in kW.

Hydropower is one of the most efficient renewable energy sources. It is particularly suited to small-scale applications typically being far cheaper per unit (kWh) of electricity produced than wind power or solar power.

There is no need in most cases for expensive battery storage since the power generation is constant 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. There is no need for a dam or any expensive construction since these are run of river hydro systems.


Pico hydropower is the only form of small renewable energy production which works continuously without battery storage. Where applicable it is the most cost efficient solution to supply electrical energy. Pico turbines can provide power for small clusters or even single households.

Individual hydropower supply cuts out the efforts of organising a community. Identifying, planning and managing takes a higher proportion of the whole installation efforts as smaller a sites becomes. For less consumers served, specialists have similar efforts in accessing sites. On the other hand small installation are more likely to be "do it your self".

With guidance by info materials and advise from a local shop consumers could be enabled to install their own pico turbine. If pico hydropower can become an "over the counter" product it meets a immense demand.

Chances and Challenges

  • Cheapest technical solution for independent power supply.

  • Clean, sustain-/ renewable energy resource.

  • Reliable => long lifetime as it is based upon robust mechanical techniques.

  • Minimal running and follow up costs (unlike batteries at PV systems).

  • Small maintenance efforts, which are easy to follow.