At the recently conducted Power Ministers’ conference in Goa, Hydro power has been granted renewable energy status. It was also decided that a separate renewable energy purchase obligation (RPO) should be set up for the hydro power sector with state incentives to meet RPO compliance.
Using the conference as a platform, Piyush Goyal, the Minister of Power, laid out a number of issues facing the hydro power sector, including the formation of a new committee to get the 22 stalled large hydro power projects started with injection of fresh investment to make them viable in the next three months. Mr. Goyal has also asked the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Power Finance Corporation (PFC) to work out a plan to assist stressed and stalled small hydro power projects in the country.
India recently ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and established a goal of generating 40 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. The country has enormous hydro power potential and is expected to generate a total capacity addition of 4,341 MW by commissioning the 22 stalled hydro projects in the country.
Without hydro, renewable energy accounted for 14.7 percent of the total installed power capacity in the country as of August 2016. With hydro, renewable energy now accounts for almost 30 percent of India’s total installed power capacity.
Image credit: By Mhpproject (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons