U'khand for increasing ambit of hydel projects

DEHRADUN: The state government is banking high on the Central Government's proposal to increase the ambit of small hydropower projects from the current 25 MW to 100 MW to help achieve the renewable energy targets for hydropower states, such as Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh.

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Neena Sharma

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, October 13

The state government is banking high on the Central Government's proposal to increase the ambit of small hydropower projects from the current 25 MW to 100 MW to help achieve the renewable energy targets for hydropower states, such as Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh.

As of now hydropower projects in Uttarakhand have been put on the back burner due to environment considerations and difficulty in getting environment clearances.

It has been felt that the division of small, medium and large power projects, under which projects with capacity of 25MW are termed as small, above 25 MW medium and above 100 MW as large, is flawed. "In case the power ministry manages to enhance the ambit of small power project to 100 MW, we will benefit a great deal," said Dr Uma Kant Panwar, Principal Secretary, Department of Power.

Further, this exercise will also help in bringing several projects under the government subsidy and tax benefits. After the ratification of the Paris treaty, officials say India is ever more committed to using clean energy. Hydel power rich states like Uttarakhand can benefit from the run of the river projects.

"There is so much emphasis on renewable energy, while hydro power has a huge potential. The run-of-the-river projects can kickstart power generation and act as balancing power to renewable energy. We are awaiting the decision of the Ministry of Power," Panwar said.

Officials say the delays in environment and forest clearances have been the major bottlenecks in the state's desire to realise its full hydel power potential.

"There is a strong case for declaring the hydro power as a renewable energy before the Central Government. We can benefit in case the underground tunnel projects, such as the likes of Tehri hydro power project, come in the ambit of renewable energy projects," Panwar added.

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