International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 22-24 October 2007


Small Hydro Development In India
Praveen Saxena Small Hydro Power, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, Block No. 14, C.G.O. Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003, India Email:

For the 8-9% growth rate that India aspires for, its energy needs are increasing correspondingly. The electricity demand in the country is expected to grow at 10% per annum. With the Electricity Act (2003), Electricity Policy (2005) and Tariff Policy (2006) in possession, the country has created a conducive atmosphere for investments in the power sector. It has been realized that there is a need to tap all possible sources of energy to meet this challenge and Small Hydro Power (SHP) is considered as a reliable option for grid interactive as well as decentralized power generation. The estimated potential of small hydro (upto 25 MW station capacity) in India is of about 15,000 MW of which about 2005 MW has been exploited. The aim is that out of the total grid interactive power generation capacity that is being installed, 2% should come from small hydro. A target of adding about 1400 MW during 20072012. The Indian SHP development programme received a new tempo after the liberalization of economy and invitation to private sector for investment in the power sector. Today the SHP programme is essentially private investment driven. Electricity generation from small hydro is becoming increasingly competitive with preferential tariffs and some other concessions. The challenge is to improve reliability, quality and reduce costs. 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.

Hydropower represents use of water resources towards inflation free energy due to absence of fuel cost with mature technology characterized by highest prime moving efficiency and spectacular operational flexibility. Out of the total power generation installed capacity in India of 1,34,942 MW (July,2007), hydro power contributes about 25% i.e. 33,711 MW. A capacity addition of 78,577 MW is envisaged from different conventional sources during 2007-2012 (the 11th Plan), which includes 16,553 MW from large hydro projects. In addition to this, a capacity addition of 1400 MW is expected from small hydro upto 25 MW station capacity. India has a history of about 110 years of hydropower. The first small hydro project of 130 KW commissioned in the hills of Darjeeling in 1897 mark the development of hydropower in India. The Sivasamudram project of 4500 KW was the next to come up in Mysore District of Karnataka in 1902, for supply of power to the Kolar gold mines. Following this, there was number of small hydro projects set up in various hilly areas of the country. Till independence (1947) , the country had an installed capacity of 1362 MW, which included 508 MW hydropower projects, mainly small and medium size projects. A planned development of hydropower projects in India started only in the post independent era. The focus was laid on large-scale power generation through big hydro, thermal and nuclear route. First 50 years after independence saw a capacity addition of 85,019 MW including 21,644 MW of hydropower stations, most of them were being large hydro. Since the development was mainly in the Central sector and the State Electricity Boards (SEBs) were more or less tuned to the central planning system, relatively less importance was given to small projects. In late 80’s, it was realized that the development of Small Hydro Power (SHP) potential has remain largely untapped as the focus was on large-scale power generation. In order to provide focused attention to small size projects, the subject of small hydro was brought under the perview of renewable energy.

22-24 October 2007 The decade of 90s saw a firm footing for the development of small hydro in India. The project also envisaged implementation of 20 demonstration SHP projects. the UNDP-GEF Indian Hilly Hydro Project was initiated in the year 1994 as the first Indian project from GEF portfolio in order to develop a national strategy and master plan for optimum utilization of small hydro resources of Himalayan and sub Himalayan region with an outlay of US $ 15 million equally shared between Government of India and GEF. All these efforts lead to a firm programme of Small hydro in India. Database of potential SHP sites on small rivers and canals was concurrently developed. including one by an NGO. NGOs etc.International Conference on Small Hydropower . 2 . A comprehensive programme for exploitation of its potential was built. design and development of watermills for electricity generation and to develop management & ownership models through community participation. 2 HYDRO POWER CLASSIFICATION IN INDIA Hydro power projects are generally categorized in two segments i. manufacturers. Further. Demonstration projects were supported throughout the country with new technical and engineering concepts to harness small. manufacturing base for SHP equipment was strengthened. were supported.Hydro Sri Lanka. R&D projects and a dedicated center namely Alternate Hydro Energy Centre (AHEC) at University of Roorkee (now IIT. First three private sector SHP projects. Alongside. the responsibility of small hydro development rests with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Against the background of depleting forest resources of Himalayas.e. small and large hydro. The project succeeded in developing concept of community participation for SHP and watermills apart from sensitizing the states. hydro projects up to 25 MW station capacity have been categorized as Small Hydro Power (SHP) projects. A preinvestment study was carried out under the auspices of the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) jointly supported by UNDP and World Bank with an objective to prepare an investment program to develop irrigation/ canal based hydro schemes. these are classified as: Class Micro Hydro Mini Hydro Small Hydro Station Capacity in kW Up to 100 101 to 2000 2001 to 25000 Table 1: Classification of small hydro in India While Ministry of Power in Government of India deals with large hydro projects. to provide technical support to the small hydro sector. in hilly areas were set up as part of this project with IREDA financing. In India. A zonal plan for all the 13 states was evolved by identifying potential sites in the states followed by a master plan for SHP development in the Himalayan region. Roorkee). consultants. medium and high heads for SHP projects in hills as well as canals.

No Name of State Identified number of sites 377 452 40 74 132 4 287 23 457 208 89 468 207 85 221 99 90 53 84 206 204 55 70 155 10 211 354 141 5 4861 Total Capacity in MW 250.330 5. equivalent to 84.861 potential sites with an aggregate capacity of 12. 22-24 October 2007 3 SMALL HYDRO POTENTIAL The total hydroelectric power potential in the country is assessed at about 150.050 0.850 39.24 213. 57 68 3 7 5 1 2 5 61 32 6 70 16 9 29 8 3 16 9 6 29 10 14 14 3 9 88 23 1 604 Capacity (MW) 178.31 217.06 1478.050 441.International Conference on Small Hydropower .31 455.110 89.50 1243.250 98.700 16.010 25.400 5.470 20.700 141.120 51.050 7.400 18.50 91.000 62.670 98.54 149.000 MW.100 80.615 111.841 MW have been identified.82 214.33 373.900 23.85 267.160 209.850 45. The potential of small hydro power projects is estimated at about 15.300 123.47 119.50 1.240 2. A comprehensive resource assessment for all the renewable energy sources including small hydro and mapping of potential sites/locations on a GIS platform is receiving utmost attention.43 170.33 484.93 149.250 2005.710 17.35 482.670 7.99 270.Hydro Sri Lanka.32 135.75 197.81 Projects Installed Nos.03 1294.55 2019.830 4.37 36. 4.345 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Andhra Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh Assam Bihar Chhatisgarh Goa Gujarat Haryana Himachal Pradesh Jammu & Kashmir Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Manipur Meghalaya Mizoram Nagaland Orissa Punjab Rajasthan Sikkim Tamil Nadu Tripura Uttar Pradesh Uttaranchal West Bengal A&N Island TOTAL Table 2: State wise identified sites and installed projects with capacity in MW.53 336.05 1940.450 30.110 50.15 12.60 186.841.46 30.000 MW at 60% load factor. Of this.000 MW. S.82 4. The aim is to map renewable energy potential in the country and bring it on a GIS platform with information necessary to take investment decisions 3 .18 27.

geological and seismological data.e. the government has announced Tariff Policy in 2006 wherein the State Regulatory Commissions are required to fix tariff in their respective state and also decide about the renewable purchase obligation. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy decided that out of the total grid interactive power generation capacity that is being installed.International Conference on Small Hydropower . trading and use of electricity. Regarding fixing of tariff. in 1993-94. 4 . for identification of potential sites. The present focus of the SHP programme is to lower the cost of equipment. vegetation cover etc. The Government of India announced the Electricity Act in 2003. 22-24 October 2007 to set up projects. With the liberalization of the economy. Models have been developed that takes into account the regional flow duration curves. Today the SHP programme in India is essentially private investment driven. Private sector entrepreneurs are finding attractive business opportunities in small hydro and state governments also feels that the private participation may be necessary for tapping the full potential of rivers and canals for power generation. land use and soil data along with the rainfall and other meteorological parameters such as temperature. It has been made mandatory that every state would specify a percentage of electricity to be purchased from renewables by a distribution licensee. The private sector was attracted by these projects due to their small adoptable capacity matching with their captive requirements or even as affordable investment opportunities. 4 SMALL HYDRO POWER PROGRAMME 4. some states announced their policy for inviting private sector to set up SHP projects and announced buy back rate for purchase of power from renewable energy projects. 133 private sector SHP projects of about 605 MW capacity have been setup. increase its reliability and set up projects in areas that give the maximum advantage in terms of capacity utilisation. The model uses terrain features. distribution. Electricity Policy in 2005 and Tariff Policy in 2006 to create a conducive atmosphere for investments in the power sector. The Act has specific provision for the promotion of renewable energy including hydropower and cogeneration. The new Electricity Act-2003 deals with the laws relating to generation. The water availability at these sites is then determined using a distributed rainfall-runoff model i. The model has been successfully tested on Bias basin in Himachal Pradesh and is proposed to be extended to other basins also. Following this World Bank offered a second line of credit worth US$ 110 million to IREDA. transmission. SHP projects are being set up both in public and private sector. Accordingly.1 Grid. The Policy underlines that renewable energy potential needs to be exploited and private sector would be encouraged through suitable promotional measures. There are 604 small hydro projects in India with total installed capacity of 2005 MW. The National Electricity Policy announced in 2005 aims at access of electricity by all households and per capita availability of electricity to be increased to 1000 units by 2012. the Government of India has been encouraging and invited private sector for investment in the power sector. SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model. The GIS technologies to extract information on natural drops available in the river system. the World Bank offered a line of credit worth US$ 70 million to IREDA to be utilized to support SHP projects on irrigation dams and canals for a target capacity of 100 MW. The credit line moved successfully and IREDA could sanction 33 SHP projects with an aggregate capacity 113 MW by the year 2000. The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) started financing private sector SHP projects. Consequent to the ESMAP study.interactive SHP projects Beginning of the 21st century saw near commercialization in the small hydro sector. The Indian small hydropower development programme received a new dim ension and tempo after the liberalization of the economy and invitation private sector for investment in power. relative humidity and solar radiation data to generate the flow time series. In line with Government of India policy. This translates to about 1400 MW capacity addition during 2007-2012. 2% should come from small hydro. a conducive policy environment has been created by modifying the Electricity Act. The Electricity Act and Tariff Policy is favourably tilted towards increasing power generation from renewables.Hydro Sri Lanka.

Punjab. Uttarakhand. Madhya Pradesh. facility for third party sale. Mizoram. These designs were tested at AHEC. the ministry has been insisting to adhere to IEC/International standards for equipment and civil works.5 lakh potential water mill sites in the Himalayan regions of India. Orissa. milling of grain and other mechanical applications. Kerala. Bihar. These water mills are normally of very old design and work at very low efficiencies. new and improved designs of water mills have been developed for mechanical as well as electricity generation of 3 kW. Jharkhand. promoting mini hydro projects is one of the objectives of the small hydro Power programme in India. It has been estimated that there are more than 1. The facilities available in the States include wheeling of power produced. 4. both in public and private sector to set up SHP projects.1902 systems Recently the Ministry has given an assignment to AHEC. Andhra Pradehsh. have traditionally been used in the Himalayan regions for rice hulling. the projects are normally maintained with local community participation. In order to ensure project quality/performance. A number of mini/micro hydro projects have been set up in remote and isolated areas. Assam. The equipment in the project is required to confirm to the following IEC standards. With the R&D efforts. Tamil Nadu. The procedure for allotment of sites have been streamlined and made transparent.International Conference on Small Hydropower . it has been made mandatory to get the project tested for its performance by an independent agency and achieving 80% of the envisaged energy generation before the subsidy is released. The state government policies have been further refined to make them entrepreneur friendly. Number of financial institutions and Banks are financing the projects. Rajasthan. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is giving financial subsidy. A number of tea garden owners have also set up such micro hydro projects to meet their captive requirement of power. While some states continued with allotment of already identified sites. 19 States in India. Jammu and Kashmir. In order to improve quality and reliability of projects.2 Decentralized SHP projects The rural energy scenario in India is characterized by inadequate. poor and unreliable supply of energy services. Realizing the fact that mini hydropower projects can provide a solution for the energy problem in rural. Maharashtra. buy-back of power. etc. IIT Roorkee and have been -5 5 .1983 Inlet valves for hydro pow er stations & IS 7326 . banking. IIT Roorkee to revisit the existing standards and come out with standards/manuals/guidelines for improving reliability and quality of small hydro power projects in the country.Hydro Sri Lanka. Himachal Pradesh. namely. Karnataka. The subsidy available from the Ministry is linked to use of equipment manufactured to IEC or other prescribed international standards. Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have announced policies for setting up commercial SHP projects through private sector participation. Equipment Standard Turbines and generator (rotating electrical IEC 60034 – 1: 1983 machines) IEC 61366-1: 1998 IEC 61116-1992 IS: 4722-2001 IS 12800 (part 3) 1991 Field Acceptance Test for Hydraulic IEC 60041: 1991 performance of turbine Governing system for hydraulic turbines IEC 60308 Transformers IS 3156 – 1992 IS 2705 – 1992 IS 2026 . remote and hilly areas where extension of grid system is comparatively uneconomical. Water wheels. mainly in Himalayan region. some others even allowed identification of potential sites by the entrepreneurs themselves. 22-24 October 2007 Small hydropower projects are now governed by these policies and the tariff is decided by the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs). While these projects are developed by various state agencies responsible for renewable energy. Haryana.

there are about 5 manufactures that are producing micro hydel and watermill equipment. Simultaneously.3 Manufacturing Status India has a wide base of manufacturers of equipment for small hydro power projects. registered NGOs. It is expected that the growth of small hydro would be @ 250-300 MW per year in the coming years. IIT Roorkee is providing full range of technical services in the field of small hydro including survey and investigation. project design etc. A mass movement with community participation to install electricity generating watermills is now underway in Uttaranchal. Manufacturers capacity is estimated at about 250 MW per year. 15 manufacturers fabricate almost the entire range and type of SHP equipment. Local organizations such as the Water Mill Associations. DPR preparation. The Ministry is strengthening technical institutions to provide such services.Hydro Sri Lanka. Appropriate selection of site and sizing of projects to give higher plant load factors are considered important for further improve economic viability of commercial SHP projects. On site testing facility has been created at AHEC to test SHP stations for their performance. The simulator is capable of replicate all conditions of a hydro power station.4 Technical and consultation Services Consultancy services in the field of small hydro projects are available from a number of Government / private consultancy organizations. micro hydro projects have also emerged as a reliable source of electricity generation for remote and isolated areas. A Real Time simulator has been set up at AHEC which is providing hands on experience to operators of SHP stations. 22-24 October 2007 replicated by 6-7 small scale manufacturers. With the constant efforts of the government and techno-economic viability with some preferential treatment. State-of-the-art equipment is available indigenously. It is the first SHP simulator in the country. Efforts are being made to strengthen hydrological data base and identify new potential sites on one side and evacuation facilities on the other for effectively harnessing small hydro potential in the country. In addition. cooperative societies. local bodies. small hydro has emerged as a viable business option over these years. AHEC is offering regular training programmes for operators and engineers of SHP stations. AHEC. The state of Uttaranchal has taken a lead in setting up electricity generation watermills and over 500 such watermills were installed in remote and isolated areas of the state.International Conference on Small Hydropower . 4. and State Nodal Agencies are being encouraged to install watermills in their areas. 4. A number of NGOs are now propagating water mills for electricity generation to meet small scale electrical requirements of villages. Trained manpower and good equipment manufacturing base exists to cater growing needs of the sector. Over 130 private sector small hydro power projects are now operational in the country on canals as well as small rivers. 6 .