The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the proposal put forward by the Ministry of Power to include large hydropower projects over 25 MW under the aegis of renewable energy.
In a statement, the CCEA said, “Separate hydropower purchase obligation (HPO) for large hydropower projects commissioned after the notification of the measures will be issued.”
According to the CCEA, budgetary support for flood moderation and enabling infrastructures, such as roads and bridges will be extended. Methodology for tariff setting has been revised to ensure that tariff is backloaded.
This move was first proposed in 2016. In the Power Ministers’ conference held in Goa in 2016, it was decided that hydropower be granted renewable energy status. It was also decided that a separate renewable energy purchase obligation (RPO) should be set up for the hydropower sector with state incentives to meet the RPO compliance.
In 2016, India also ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and established a goal of generating 40 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. In January 2019, Mercom reported that India’s total installed power capacity stood at around 353 GW at the end of December 2018, with renewables accounting for 77.5 GW, making up 22 percent.
At the end of December 2018, hydro power’s cumulative installations stood at 45.4 GW, making up 12.9 percent of India’s total installed capacity. Now, with hydropower being recognized as a renewable energy source, renewable energy will account for 34.9 percent of the installed capacity.
The CCEA also approved the investment sanction for the construction of Kiru hydroelectric project (624 MW) by Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited. The project has been located on River Chenab in Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir. It envisages construction of a 135-meter-high concrete gravity dam, with installed capacity 624 MW (4 x 156 MW). The project would generate 2272.02 million units (MU) in a 90 percent dependable year. The project is scheduled to be completed in a period of 4 and a half years.
Moreover, the CCEA has also approved the Teesta Stage-VI hydroelectric project in Sirwani Village of Sikkim to utilize the power potential of Teesta river basin. It consists of the construction of a 26.5-meter-high barrage across river Teesta. The project would generate 2,400 MU in a 90 percent dependable year with an installed capacity of 500 MW (4×125 MW). Completion period of the project will be 60 months.