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Hydroelectric power projects with aggregate capacity of 15 GW under construction.

Hydroelectric power projects with aggregate capacity of 15 GW under construction
  • Hydroelectric power projects with aggregate capacity of 15 GW are under construction in the country. The hydro capacity is likely to increase from 42 GW to 67 GW by 2031-32, marking an increase of more than half of present capacity.
  • The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted higher rainfall in the current financial year. Further, hydropower projects located in the Himalayan region get base flow from contribution of snowmelt, i.e., from surface runoff produced by melting snow; so, any rise in temperature will increase snowmelt contribution.
  • Moreover, given the ongoing energy transitions in the country, the development of Pumped Storage Projects (PSPs) assumes importance for providing greater inertia and balancing power to the grid. PSPs are also known as ‘the Water Battery’, which is an ideal complement to modern clean energy systems.
  • Currently, PSPs with aggregate capacity of 2.7 GW are under construction in the county and another 50 GW is under various stages of development. It is projected that PSP capacity shall increase from 4.7 GW to around 55 GW by 2031-32.
  • The fall in hydro power generation in 2023-24 as compared to 2022-23 cannot be attributed solely to less rainfall. In the southern region, which contributes approximately 22% of the total hydro energy generated, low rainfall has indeed played a role. However, the hydroelectric power projects in Northern and Eastern regions, comprising over 60% of total hydro energy generation, have been severely impacted by natural disasters in 2023-24. In July 2023, Himachal Pradesh experienced flash floods, disrupting the operation of many power stations in the area. Besides, flash floods in the Eastern region in October 2023 have further hindered the operation of several hydro power stations, thus affecting the generation severely.
  • Hydrology of any river basin is variable and follows some period of alternate wet and dry spells. Lower rainfall in the past does not mean that the same type of the rainfall will necessarily occur in the future as well.

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Published date : 06 Apr 2024 05:44PM

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