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Potential In India

India has begun focusing on large- scale hydroelectric projects to ease electricity shortages in the country. So far, 12 large-scale projects have been approved, all to be completed by 2002. The projects are expected to add a combined 3.7 gig watts of installed hydroelectric capacity. In addition, 5.81 gig watts of capacity are to be added by new state-sector projects and 350 megawatts by the private sector. National Hydroelectric Power Corporation will construct five projects in Himachal Pradesh State and one each in Manipur and Sikkim. The Central Electricity Authority has been asked to give technical and economic approval to two 800-megawatt projects in Himachal: Parbaht Stage 2 and Kol Dam. India's Energy Development Company Ltd. expects to commission its 9-megawatt Harangi Dam in April 1999. This facility is expected to generate about 36 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. In the northern states of Jammu and Kasmir, construction began in October 1998 on a 450-megawatt hydroelectric project on the Chinab River. When completed, the facility is expected to provide 2,600 megawatt hours of power per year.

The Indian government has begun a policy to promote development of hydroelectric power. The government plans to introduce a tariff subsidy to support the development of hydroelectric power in an effort to improve the nation's energy mix . At present, 78 percent of India's electricity is fueled by coal and 13 percent by hydroelectricity and other renewables, with natural gas, oil, and nuclear contributing the remainder. The tariff is expected to raise an estimated $714 million annually. Other policy decisions provide that hydroelectric facilities with installed capacity up to 250 megawatts will not require technical or economic approval from the Central Electricity Authority, which at present scrutinizes every proposed project that exceeds 100 megawatts. In 1992, at the start of the eighth Five-Year Plan, India's installed capacity of small-scale hydroelectric projects was 93 megawatts. By the beginning of 1997, there were 216 such projects installed, with a combined capacity of 155 megawatts

Work is in progress on 208 projects that will provide 230 megawatts of installed capacity. India's federal Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES) is promoting small-scale hydroelectric projects of up to 3 megawatts to develop remote rural areas. MNES conducted a nationwide survey and identified the potential for development of a combined 2,040 megawatts in 25 states and outlying islands [48]. Sites with a potential of about 600 megawatts have been offered by states for commercial development. To further accelerate the exploitation of the small hydropower potential and to promote their commercialization, MNES has charted out several measures. Some of the main objectives and activities being undertaken during the ninth Five-Year Plan are small hydro resource assessment; encouragement to commercial small hydro projects; renovation and modernization of old small hydro projects; special incentive packages for northeastern states to exploit small hydro potential; upgrading of water mills; and intensification of industry-based research and development. On January 12, 1995, the Indian government announced a liberalized tariff norm for hydroelectric projects. To encourage greater participation of the private sector in hydroelectric generation, government incentives are provided for projects commissioned after January 1, 1997.

 
 

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