The Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah a couple of days ago informed Rajya Sabha that India has an estimated potential of about 19,750 MW of Small Hydro Power (SHP) projects. So far, 898 SHP projects with an aggregate capacity of 3411 MW have been set up and 348 projects aggregating to 1309 MW are under implementation.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy ensures performance testing of all the plants for their functionality. He said that the Setting up of small hydro projects comes under the purview of State Governments. Potential sites are either developed by the state or allotted to private developers for setting up of projects.
During the 11th Plan, a capacity of 1419 MW was added against 536 MW during the 10th Plan. A capacity addition of 2100 MW from SHP projects has been planned during the 12th Five Year Plan. The minister informing the House said his Ministry is providing Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to set up small / micro hydro projects both in public and private sectors.
Financial support is also given to the State Government for identification of new potential sites including survey and preparation of DPRs, and renovation and modernization of old SHP projects. It also helps the State Governments in formulating their policies for the development of small hydro projects and exploitation of this potential. India has adequate capabilities of setting up small hydro projects. The Government has not sought assistance from any developed country to set up small hydro projects, he added.