January 25, 2017 9:17 am0 commentsViews: 656
Sanjith S Shetty, Vice Chairman and MD, Soham Renewable Energy India Pvt Ltd

Sanjith S Shetty, Vice Chairman and MD, Soham Renewable Energy India Pvt Ltd

SHP and RE
Year 2016 has had its ups and downs like most industries and RE was no different… and small hydro took a beating due to a failed monsoon in most parts of the country, but when it comes to the future Green Energy is definitely the future. I feel small and mini hydro projects have a unique advantage that apart from green power, we deliver grid quality power and can be set up both in grid-connected as well as off-grid mode as per need. Small hydro projects can improve remote and rural areas and become a permanent source of power and income generation. Hydropower involves multi-disciplinary human resources for planning, design, execution, management and operation and maintenance. Civil, electrical, mechanical, electronic engineering and socio-economy are disciplines in which hydropower personnel need to be trained. The SHP programme in India now is largely private investment driven. Generally, SHP projects have been economically viable. There has been a decline in capacity addition from small hydro recently as the cost of projects has gone up and tariffs given to power generated from SHP projects have not been so attractive in supporting investments. The Ministry has reported that so far 1047 small hydropower projects aggregating to 4146 MW have been set up in various parts of the country and 206 projects of about 591 MW are in various stages of implementation. At present, a capacity addition of about 250 MW per year is being achieved from SHP projects of which more than 70% is coming through the private sector. In order to accelerate the pace of small hydro development, both public and private sector participation for commercial projects and decentralised micro-hydel for remote village electrification are being encouraged. The target of capacity addition from SHP projects of 1300 MW (revised target 1400 MW) during the 11th Plan period. The detailed action plan of the Ministry to achieve the remaining targets set for the 12th Plan (2012–17) was declared as:
1 Arunachal Pradesh 500 MW           2 Himachal Pradesh 750 MW          3 Jammu & Kashmir 500 MW
4 Karnataka 250 MW          5 Maharashtra 200 MW             6 Odisha 100 MW
7 Punjab 100 MW          8 Uttarakhand 500 MW     Total = 2900 MW

On budgetary allocation during the 12th Plan (2012–17) the ministry stated that a total of Rs 497.18 crore had been allocated to SHP against the Rs 824.00 crore demanded by the Ministry for the SHP programme up to 2015-16. In the past the Ministry utilised the full allocated amount under the SHP programme. The Ministry is in a position to utilise the allocated amount in full during 2016-17 also for installation of SHP projects and liquidising the past liabilities accumulated based on completed SHP projects. The Ministry has set up a group to prepare a National Small Hydro Mission. Technological innovation, new methods of civil construction, standard designs and automation can be helpful in arresting the increase in cost of projects. The Mission targets to achieve 500 MW of capacity in the next two years and aims towards adding 4500 MW in the subsequent three years for which preparation including appropriate policy interventions will be done in the first two years of the Mission. An investment of Rs 50,000 crore is expected to be infused primarily in the rural economy and about Rs 5,000 crore may be required as support from the Govt of India. There are a number of irrigation canal drops (especially below 3 m) and dams in the country that can open new avenues for developing small hydro projects.
On renewable energy: Investors are targeting renewables as strong assets and not as an inadequate option. Massive investments in capital from the utilities are going into solar. As and when the oil prices plummet, I feel there is an opportunity for renewable energy sources to close this gap and become more affordable. The Narendra Modi government has an incredibly ambitious plan for solar – 100 GW by 2022… a staggering $100 billion into the sector over the next seven years. The Government of India’s focus on attaining ‘Power for all’ will help accelerate RE capacity addition in the country. The Government of India is also taking a number of steps and initiatives to restart the stalled hydro power projects and increase the wind energy production target to 60 GW by 2022 from the current 20 GW. Around 293 global and domestic companies have committed to generate 266 GW of solar, wind, mini-hydel and biomass-based power in India over the next few years. India ranks third among 40 countries in EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, on the back of a strong focus by the govt on promoting RE and implementation of projects in a time-bound manner.

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