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Small Hydro

Small Hydro Power Programme

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has been vested with the responsibility of developing Small Hydro Power (SHP) projects up to 25 MW station capacities. The estimated potential for power generation in the country from such plants is over 15,000 MW. Most of the potential is in Himalayan States as river-based projects and in other States on irrigation canals. The SHP programme is now essentially private investment driven. Projects are normally economically viable and private sector is showing lot of interest in investing in SHP projects. The viability of these projects improves with increase in the project capacity. The Ministry’s aim is that at least 50% of the potential in the country is harnessed in the next 10 years.

Hydro Power Project Classification                            

Hydro power projects are generally categorized in two segments i.e. small and large hydro. In India, hydro projects up to 25 MW station capacities have been categorized as Small Hydro Power (SHP) projects.  While Ministry of Power, Government of India is responsible for large hydro projects, the mandate for the subject small hydro power (up to 25 MW) is given to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Small hydro power projects are further classified as

Class Station Capacity in kW
Micro Hydro Up to 100
Mini Hydro 101 to 2000
Small Hydro 2001 to 25000

Small Hydro Power Programme

Small Hydro Power ( SHP) Programme is one of the thrust areas of power generation from renewable in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.  It has been recognized that small hydropower projects can play a critical role in improving the overall energy scenario of the country and in particular for remote and inaccessible areas. The Ministry is encouraging development of small hydro projects both in the public as well as private sector. Equal attention is being paid to grid-interactive and decentralized projects.

Aim:    The Ministry’s aim is that the SHP installed capacity should be about 7000 MW by the end of 12th Plan. The focus of the SHP programme is to lower the cost of equipment, increase its reliability and set up projects in areas which give the maximum advantage in terms of capacity utilisation.

Potential: An estimated potential of about 15,000 MW of small hydro power projects exists in India. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has created a database of potential sites of small hydro and 5,415 potential sites with an aggregate capacity of 14,305.47 MW for projects up to 25 MW capacity have been identified.