[ad_1]

INDIA’S HYDROPOWER

CONTEXT:

  • Recently, the power ministry is reworking its planned hydro power policy in order to carve out a ₹4,000 crore grant for North-eastern states as a separate scheme.

ABOUT HYDROPOWER:

  • Hydropower, or hydroelectric power, is one of the oldest and largest sources of renewable energy, which uses the natural flow of moving water to generate electricity.
  • Hydropower technologies generate power by using the elevation difference, created by a dam or diversion structure, of water flowing in on one side and out, far below, on the other.

  • Because the source of hydroelectric power is water, hydroelectric power plants are usually located on or near a water source.
  • Compared to other electricity sources, hydropower also has relatively low costs throughout the duration of a full project lifetime in terms of maintenance, operations, and fuel.
  • Like any major energy source, significant upfront costs are unavoidable, but hydropower’s longer lifespan spreads these costs out over time.

ADVANTAGES OF HYDROPOWER:

  • The benefits of hydropower have been recognized and harnessed for thousands of years.
  • In addition to being a clean and cost-effective form of energy, hydropower plants can provide power to the grid immediately, serving as a flexible and reliable form of backup power during major electricity outages or disruptions.
  • Hydropower also produces a number of benefits outside of electricity generation, such as flood control, irrigation support, and water supply.
  • The presence of large bodies of water in reservoirs encourages the growth of vegetation, which in turn attracts animals.Thus hydropower plants often become spaces for the preservation of biodiversity.

CURRENT STATE OF HYDROPOWER IN INDIA:

  • India currently has an installed capacity of 52 GW and another 18 GW is either under implementation or has been bid out.
  • The government aims to take it to 78 GW by 2030.
  • However, this fiscal, amid intermittent rains and the El Niño phenomenon, hydropower generation has been impacted.
  • Union power minister informed Parliament that there was a 14% fall in hydro generation in the first half of FY24 compared with the corresponding period of FY23 due to variable monsoon rain.
  • Further, around 2 GW of hydro capacity is currently inoperative after floods in Sikkim.

INDIA’S EXISTING HYDROPOWER POLICY:

  • The government did come up with a hydropower policy in March 2008 which talked about transparent selection procedure for awarding projects to private developers and allowing the project developer to recover the costs incurred in obtaining the hydropower project site.
  • It allowed a special incentive for the developer by way of merchant sale of up 40% of the saleable energy.
  • However, the segment has not grown as expected largely because of issues in land acquisition, and environmental clearance, among other reasons.
  • The new policy would replace the existing one and possibly, plug the gaps.

WHY DO INDIA NEED NEW HYDROPOWER POLICY ?

  • India needs to get states and developers to take up new hydro projects.
  • The parliamentary panel on energy has also suggested that for optimum utilization of hydro potential, India needs an enabling policy and take it up on mission mode.
  • The panel observed that cooperation between the central and state governments is a pre-requisite.

STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF HYDROPROJECTS:

  • Hydro projects can play a strategic role in border states as they help India protect its lower riparian rights with respect to China which is building large dams on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra.
  • State-run NHPC has submitted a pre-feasibility report for the 11 GW Upper Siang Multi-purpose Storage project involving an expenditure of ₹1.13 trillion.
  • This, along with other hydro projects on the Brahmaputra, known as Siang in Arunachal Pradesh, is part of India’s attempt to counter Chinese water diversion.

WAY FORWARD:

  • The call of the hour is re-engineering of the power market to treat hydropower as a peaking and grid-balancing power, and also to distribute its higher tariff over the entire energy consumption on a prorate basis.

SYLLABUS: MAINS, GS-3, INFRASTRUCTURE

SOURCE: LIVEMINT

[ad_2]

Source link

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *