In many places throughout Greece, some traditional as well as other modern small hydroelectric project plants continue to exploit water power to produce mechanical energy but also mainly for electricity production.
The use of the small hydro potential of thousands of smaller or larger streams and springs in the mountainous areas of Greece depends on the construction of decentralized, multi-purpose, small hydroelectric plants which will stimulate local development and can simultaneously meet water supply, irrigation and other local needs.
The very high efficiency rates of water turbines, which in some cases is over 90% and the very long life of hydroelectric projects which can last for more than 100 years are two typical indicators of the energy efficiency and technological maturity of small hydroelectric plants.
Small hydro projects have significant advantages, such as the possibility of direct connection – disconnection to/from the grid or independent operation, their reliability, production of top quality electricity with no fluctuations, their excellent performance over time, their long life, the predictable payback time on the required investments which is due to the very low costs of maintenance and operation and free raw material, environmental compatibility because they produce no emissions and their limited impact on the environment, the simultaneous coverage of other needs for water (water supply, irrigation, etc.) the possibility of incorporating them into existing hydraulic installations, etc.
By definition, a small hydroelectric plant is completely compatible with the environment and it can even contribute to the creation of small scale aquatic habitats along with small reservoirs. All of the various elements of the project can be harmoniously and functionally blended into the environment, using local materials in the traditional way and improving the surrounding area.