India Plans Expansion In Hydro Power Capacity

India’s hydro power sector is gearing up for a major expansion, with plans to more than double capacity by 2031. These plans were divulged in a press release dated April 5, 2024.

Surge in Capacity:

  • 15 GW of hydro power projects are currently under construction.
  • Hydro capacity is expected to jump from 42 GW to 67 GW by 2031-32, a rise of over 50%.

Future Potential:

  • Good monsoon rains predicted for 2024-25 could replenish water reservoirs.
  • Development of Pumped Storage Projects (PSPs) as a “Water Battery” will enhance grid stability for renewables.
  • PSP capacity is projected to reach 55 GW by 2031-32, from the current 2.7 GW.

Addressing Recent Decline:

  • Lower hydro power generation in 2023-24 was due to natural disasters in addition to decline in rainfall.
  • Flash floods in Himachal Pradesh and the Eastern region also impacted operations.

Hydro power provides crucial peak power support and grid reliability. It complements solar and wind energy, which peak at different times.

India aims for 50% of installed power capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030. Hydro power development is crucial to achieve this target alongside solar and wind.

Overall, the outlook for hydro power in India is positive. While there were recent challenges, ongoing projects and government initiatives are set to significantly boost capacity and solidify its role in the country’s clean energy future.