New Delhi: India is planning to add 29.33 GW of hydropower through 70 Hydro-electric Projects (HEPs) between 2021-22 and 2029-30, said Union Minister for Power RK Singh in the Parliament on Thursday. In a written response to a question raised in the Lok Sabha, Singh said, "70 HEPs (above 25 MW capacity) aggregating to a capacity 29336.5 MW have been envisaged during the period 2021-22 to 2029-30. This includes 36 HEPs (12663.5 MW) that are under construction and 2 HEPs (213 MW) commissioned in 2021-22."
These 70 HEPs are spread across 18 states — Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Karnataka, Odisha and Nagaland, data shared by the minister in the House showed.
A total of 36 HEPs (above 25 MW capacity) with an aggregate installed capacity of 12,663.5 MW are under construction in the country. Out of these 36 hydropower projects, 27 projects of 11,427.5 MW capacity are under active construction and nine projects of 1,236 MW capacity are held up.
Around 29 hydropower projects with an aggregate installed capacity of 22,768 MW have received concurrence from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) but are yet to be taken up for construction due to environment and forest clearance issues and because of agreements getting cancelled.
Hydro Electric Projects (HEPs) are allotted to Central, state and private sector developers by the concerned state governments. "As per Section 8 (1) of the Electricity Act, 2003, any generating company intending to set up a hydro generating station is required to prepare and submit to the CEA for its concurrence, a scheme estimated to involve a capital expenditure exceeding such sum (presently, Rs 1,000 crore), as may be fixed by the Central government, from time to time, by notification," Singh said.
"The development of hydropower is of paramount importance as it is clean, green, sustainable, renewable, non-polluting and environmental friendly. It promotes conservation of fossil fuel and provides escalation free & cheapest energy in the long run," the minister said.