Hydroelectricity is clean energy and its generation is not linked to issues concerning fuel supply, especially the price volatility of imported fuels. It enhances our energy security and is ideal for meeting the peak demand. Its share has gradually declined. Therefore, thermal generation, which should generally be used for base load operation, is also being used to meet peaking requirements. This leads to non-optimal utilisation of economic and perishable resources.
Only about 17% of vast hydel potential of 1,50,000 MW has been tapped so far. Countries like Norway, Canada, Brazil have all been utilising more than 30% of their hydro potential wherease India and China have lagged far behind as can be seen in the table below.
Therefore, exploiting the vast hydro potential has been provided extra thrust in the capacity addition plans and has been accorded high priority in our power development plans. In order to improve the themal-hydro mix following measures have been undertaken:
|Country||Exploitable Potential(MW)||Installed Utillised (MW)||%of Potential Capacity|
The Union Ministry of Power has taken several steps to accelerate capacity addition from hydro-electric projects. These include:
- higher budgetary allocation for the hydel sector.
- investment approval of new hydro-electric projects;
- identification of new projects in the Central Sector for advance action;
- promoting State Sector projects which were languishing or could not progress due to Inter-State disputes;
- improving tariff dispensation for hydel projects;
- simplification of procedure for transfer of clearance;
- levy of 5% development surcharge to supplement resources for hydro electric projects by NHPC allowed by CERC.
The policy measures undertaken to accelerate hydro power development inter-alia lay emphasis on basin-wise development. World Bank assistance for survey, investigation and preparation of DPRs of the projects in Sutlej and Ravi basins is being considered.
States with substantial undeveloped Hydro potential
|Region/State||Assessed (MW)||In Operation (MW)||Under Construction||Balance (MW)|
|Jammu & Kashmir||14146.00||1394.25||469.00||12282.75|
The CEA in consultation with the States, Department of Space, Ministry of Environment & Forests, CWC and Geological Survey of India, has initiated a basin wise ranking study of all the balance hydro sites with a view to identify those hydro projecdts which could be taken up first so that hydro power development is taken up in a appropriate sequence. The objective of the study is to optimally utilise the potential of feasible hydro projects in the country over the next few decades.
Preparation of Detail Project Report
With the objective of reducing the time and cost overrun of hydro projects which has largely taken place on account of poor and hasty investigation and non-availability of proper infrastructure in terms of access roads and land, the Govemment has recently introduced a three stage process for development of new hydro electric projects in the Central Sector. The three Stages are: Sector I – Survey & investigation and preparation of prefeasibility report.
Stage II – Detailed investigation, preparation of DPR and pre-construction activity including land acquisition.
Stage III – Execution of the project after investment decision through PIB/CCEA
In terms of the guidelines of three stage clearance and delegation of powers approved in consultation with Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Environment & Forests, the Ministry of Power has been authorised to sanction expenditure of Rs. 10 crores on survey, investigation and preparation of feasibility report for new hydro-electric projects. Expenditure upto Rs.50 crores can be incurred on the preparation of DPR, pre-construction activities and land acquisition subject to approval by a Committee of PIB based on the site clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests and after the commercial viability of the project has been established. Proposals involving expenditure above Rs.50 crores would require approval of PIB/CCEA.
The Ministry of Environment & Forests has also simplified the procedure for according site clearance in two stages. In Stage-I, preliminary site clearance will be accorded to proceed with survey and investigation and preparation of pre-feasibility report. The final site clearance (Stage-II) will be accorded based on data made available from survey and investigation carried out and the findings at the pre-feasibility stage. The final forest clearance and environmental clearance will be accorded on the basis of Environmental/Forest Impact Assessment Study (EIA) and Environment Management Plan.