London, Mar. 7 (ANI): Electricity harnessed from British rivers could be used to provide power to almost a million homes with the building of up to 26,000 controversial hydropower turbines, according to an upcoming report. study commissioned by the Environment Agency is set to reveal that there is vast untapped potential across the England and Wales for generating energy from rivers, and the water wheels could generate enough electricity to power 850,000 homes - over three per cent of the UK's residential electricity demand, The Telegraph reports.
Waterways in Wales, the upper reaches of the Thames, the Humber, the Aire, Severn and the Mersey have been identified as having the most potential.
If all the turbines are built, it would cost around four billion pounds.
The report has identified at least 5,000 sites around England and Wales where small to medium scale schemes could be built easily.
Tony Grayling, head of climate change at the Environment Agency, said: "Hydropower is a well established and reliable way of generating power. We are also currently looking at ways of streamlining in the way we regulate hydropower. Currently hydropower schemes typically need up to four licenses from the Environment Agency at the moment, which is quite complex from a developers point of view."
Not all of the 26,000 identified sites will necessarily be developed and so the actual electricity generated is likely to be far less.
The majority of the new schemes are likely to be reverse Archimedes screws, where water is funnelled down a screw shaped blade to rotate a turbine. (ANI)