The main object of ESHA is the study and the promotion of the use of water to generate electricity in plants with a capacity under 10 MW:
- To represent the interest of the European small hydropower sector in the EU by informing and lobbying decision-makers at European institutions, national governments and local authorities on crucial issues facing the small hydropower sector taking into account legal, economic, technical, institutional and environmental aspects;
- Participating actively in various working groups, meetings, workshops and conferences focusing on policy development on renewable energy and in particular hydropower, observer member in 6 different Common Implementation Strategy of the Water Framework Directive working groups such as the Climate Change and Water working group;
- Providing information services to members, e. g.: reports on current policy developments, newsletter, ESHA website, ESHA Blog to enhance dialogue among different stakeholders.
- Coordinating and participating in European projects such as Shapes, Choice, Hydroaction, Rural-RES and Streammap (more detailed information available at www.esha.be)
- Carrying out studies (e. g: Layman’s Guidebook on How to Develop a Small Hydro Plant, European Atlas of Small Hydropower Resources, BlueAGE: Blue Energy for a Green Europe, Small Hydropower and Environment, Report on the development of SHP in the European Union);
- Collaborating actively with various organisations such as the European Water Partnership, International Hydropower Association, Eurelectric, etc.
- Enhancing global co-operation with institutions outside of Europe, such as IN-SHP (International Network on Small Hydropower), based in Hangzhou, China, TERI in India etc
- Organising and promoting conferences and seminars and workshops(e. g.: Hidroenergia conferences every two years).
ESHA is a member of EREC (European Renewable Energy Council) - an umbrella organisation of the leading European renewable energy industry and research associations.