Private push for small, green hydro projects
The private sector has taken to small, eco-friendly hydro projects in a big way. So much so that it is expected to invest around Rs 5,500 crore on such plants in the Eleventh Plan.
Minister for New and Renewable Energy Vilas Muttemwar met small hydro power developers in the Capital recently to emphasise the need for small hydro projects as they do not displace people or require trees to be felled. Advisor to the ministry Dr N.P.Singh explained: “There is no need to construct a dam or large reservoir. Moreover, there is no loss of water. We simply divert water from a river and let it fall from a height into the hydro-turbine, which generates power. The water goes back to the same river or canal.” Such projects are also eligible for the Clean Development Mechanism Benefit as it is eco friendly, he added.
Of the 618 small hydro projects in the country, 143 — with a capacity of 686 MW — were set up with private sector participation.