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The paper reviews the development of hydro-electric power, primarily in Scotland, over the past 90 years, starting with the first industrial installation at Foyers, followed by the construction of the aluminium hydros at Kinlochleven and Lochaber, the Galloway and Grampian schemes in the 1930s, the intense period of development by the Hydro Board in the 1940s to 1960s and the recent pumped storage schemes in the 1960s and 1970s. The types of hydro-electric development which have taken place are examined, along with the performance of the schemes. Economics, social and political aspects and the potential for future development are assessed, including a description of the latest run-of-river projects proposed in Scotland. The paper concludes with prospects for future hydro-electric development which are related to concepts, dams, underground works, plant and environmental aspects.