Hydropower provided the impetus to the industrialisation of the country. However, from 1980s onwards share of hydropower in the overall energy matrix of the country has fallen rather sharply. Balraj Joshi, chairman and managing director, NHPC, shares his views with FE’s Anupam Chatterjee about how the country’s largest hydropower company plans to promote the conventional form of renewable energy.
In 1980, hydro provided around 40% of installed capacity which is now around 13% only. Under these circumstances, the current measures adopted by the government of India shall give new wings to the development of hydropower in the country. There has been accelerated development of solar and wind in the current decade. However, due to the intermittent nature, it grid balancing capacity which only hydro can provide.
At present with recognition of large hydro projects as a renewable energy source, discoms have an added incentive for going for PPAs with developers of large hydro projects to fulfill their renewable purchase obligations. The Central Electricity Authority is also coming up with a separate hydro purchase obligation trajectory. The new policy also categorises hydropower as renewable energy, which would open access to cheaper green financing from global institutions, which would result in cheaper tariffs.
Combine it with the other measures like tariff rationalisation, budgetary supports for enabling infrastructure and flood moderation cost, hydro power tariffs will again look attractive.
The Parbati-II project is in the active construction stage with excavation and other ancillary activities are going on. As far as Dibang is concerned, the Cabinet has already accorded approval to the proposal for pre-investment activities. The Kotli Bhel Projects shall be taken up after clearance by Hon’ble Supreme Court as it is in the Ganga basin.