India is blessed with a rich hydropower potential.
In the exploitable potential terms, India ranks fifth in the world. Less than
25% of the potential has been developed as of now. A large hydro has four main
It is a source of green energy.
It has low variable cost.
It is grid friendly.
It can also can sub serve other purposes by irrigation, flood
India has 3 major rivers: the Indus, the Brahmaputra, and the
Ganga. It also has three major river systems?central Indian, west flowing rivers
of south India, and east flowing rivers of south India having a total of 48
basins. The total
potential from these river basins is 600TWh (TerraWatt Hours) of electricity.
Hydroelectric projects can be classified on the basis of purpose,
hydraulic features, capacity, head, constructional features, mode of operation,
etc. The main types are
ROR (Run of River) There are not large reservoirs; a part of water
flow is diverted to the plant which is adjacent to the river. After generation
the flow is diverted back to the main flow through the tail race. This type
of hydro plants requires a diversion dam and has unregulated water flow.
Dam Storage In these types of hydro
plants, large reservoirs are created by the construction a sizeable dam across
the river and the plants is situated at the toe of the dam. Here, water could
be regulated to generate electricity depending upon the demand
Pumped Storage These
types of plants have two reservoirs, one at the upstream of the power plant
and one at the downstream. When there is low peak demand, the water from the
reservoir situated downstream is pumped back to the upstream reservoir.
As of today, the total
identified hydro potential is 1 48 701 MW(mega watt). According to the list
of hydro electric projects in the country, a total of 29 572 MW?19.9% of
the total?has been harnessed and 13 286 MW is under construction. A total of
3 660 MW of pumped storage schemes have also been developed.
Various initiatives for accelerated
development have been taken up by the central government to harness the
hydro potential in India. Some of these are
Power Policy (1998)
50 000 MW
Preparation of viable models for private sector participation
up gradation and life extension programmes
Facilitation for trading and co-operation
with other countries
Execution of projects with inter state aspects by Central Public