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MNRE report on Small Hydro Power, shp, small hydro energy india, iitr, iit roorkee, small hydro design, small hydro training, small hydro potential india,



Inaugurating the 58th hydro product committee meet executive director (ED), BHEL Bhopal SS Gupta urged top echelons of the hydro group for expeditious execution of recently bagged 6x170 MW Punatsangchhu-II projects from Bhutan.

Expressing concern on slow pace of hydro projects in the country on account of remoteness of site, environmental consent, supplementary statutory clearance; rules and regulations issues and civil delays, Gupta emphasized the need for reviewing the operations in the light of increasing competition in the domestic market impacting margins and profitability.

K Purswani, GM (hydro) and chairman Hydro Product Committee (HPC) briefed the gathering on orders in hand, customer's concern, competition in the field and challenges of domestic and international markets.

GD Verma GM and co-chairman HPC expressed concern regarding production of generator and challenges in generator area owing to project delays at civil front.




* The Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) is in the process of preparing pre-feasibility report for five new hydro power projects with a combined capacity of 1543 MW.

These projects include Bhimkund & Baigundi project on Baitarani river in Keonjhar district (110 MW), Kanpur small hydroelectric project in Keonjhar district (3 MW), Indrabati pump storage project (600 MW), Balimela pump storage project (510 MW) and Upper Kolab pump storage project.

OHPC's overall generation capacity stands at 2062 MW. It is currently operating seven hydro-electric projects - Hirakud-I (Burla)- 275.5 MW, Hirakud-II (Chipilima)- 72 MW, Balimela- 510 MW, Rengali-250 MW, Upper Kolab- 320 MW, Upper Indravati- 600 MW and Machkund- 14.75 MW.

The state government had signed MoUs (memorandum of understanding) with 36 developers for small hydro projects with envisaged generation capacity totaling to 472 MW, involving an investment of Rs 2250 crore.

Till now, three units with capacity of 57MW have already been commissioned. Other four units with 67MW capacity are in advanced stage of commissioning. The major units among theses include Kharagpur unit with 10 MW capacity, Dumajhari with 15 MW capacity, Saptadhara with 18 MW capacity and Baitarani project with 24 MW capacity.

Earlier, the state government had decided to entrust the task of of scrutiny and approval of design of SHEPs to Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee. The design of the SHEPs will be adopted by the state technical committee after approval by the institute. source



Mini Projects, Mega Disaster

To evade Central scrutiny, Karnataka splits and dresses up hydel projects as mini units that threaten to sever the only surviving link between the north and south Western Ghats

INDIAN LAWS give the best protection to wilderness, on paper. Under the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), no forestland can be used for non-forestry purpose, such as roads, railways, dams or industries, without the State’s permission. Applications for land diversion are examined by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) and, if the region harbours wildlife, National Board for Wildlife (NBWL).


But if a project requires less than 5 hectares of forestland, the states have the power to decide. When it comes to generating hydro-electricity, no clearance is required under the Environment Protection Act (EPA) if the installed capacity is less than 25 MW. So in Karnataka, projects are being broken down by all possible means till the components appear small enough to escape the legal filter.

Nearly two-thirds of the lush Western Ghats rainforests lie in Karnataka, which hosts 20 percent of India’s elephant population. The state has an enviable record in conservation and supports five national parks and 21 sanctuaries. Ironically, it also suffers possibly the country’s worst man-elephant conflict in Hassan district. Yet, the state decided to come up with a 200 MW hydel power plant at the heart of this conflict zone in 2008.

The Gundia power plant required submergence of 754 hectares of thick evergreen forests and drew flak from all quarters. Then environment minister Jairam Ramesh famously said in 2009 that both Karnataka and the country could ill-afford the project. While the state remained adamant about the mega project, it seemed to have quickly learnt its lessons.

This is very serious. source




*India is wasting hydro potential: NHPC chief*Hydro-power key to India's energy security: Study

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. source





Small Hydro Project development during 12th Plan

1.     Capacity addition in major potential States during 11th Plan period
2.     Allotments made by the States to private sector and overall expected capacity addition.
3.     Targets of capacity addition during 12th Plan


Level of subsidy for SHP projects during 12th Plan for

1.     Government Sector projects
2.     Private Sector projects
3.     Support for R&M of old projects
4.     Any new area for support by MNRE

Policy issues in developing Private Sector projects

1.     How to reduce implementation time for projects.
2.     Clearances required for SHP projects and how to simplify the procedures
3.     Creating Data base of private sector projects
4.     Monitoring of private sector projects
5.     Collection of generation data

Strategy for developing micro hydel projects / watermills

1.     Review of existing MNRE scheme
2.     Suggestions for enlarging scope of micro hydel / watermill projects
3.     Considering funding livelihood activities with watermills
4.     Strategy for financing micro hydel projects (community model)
5.     Involvement of private  sector to  set up  micro hydel  projects  as  social responsibilities

R &D areas in SHP

1.     Launching of Standards for small hydro
2.     Hydraulic turbine test laboratory at AHEC, IIT, Roorkee
3.     Development of model projects using different velocity turbines
4.     Collection of catchment based hydrological information
5.     Standard designs for micro hydel projects
6.     Design of second generation watermills

1.      The   Minister   for   New   and   Renewable   Energy   took   a   meeting   with   the   Ministers–in-Charge of renewable energy of all the North Eastern States on 2nd July, 2011. The NE States were of the opinion that MNRE subsidy for SHP projects is extremely low and it should be 90% of the actual project cost rather than based on normative cost. The suggestions made in the meeting have been incorporated in the report of the Sub-Group.

Hydro Power in India

2.          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, 76,990 MW (June, 2011), hydro power contributes about 21.5% i.e. 38,106 MW. A capacity addition of 78,700 MW is envisaged from different conventional sources during 2007-2012 (the 11th Plan), which includes 15,627 MW from large hydro projects. In addition to this, a capacity addition of 1400 MW was envisaged from small hydro up to 25 MW station capacity. The total hydroelectric power potential in the country is assessed at about 150,000 MW, equivalent to 84,000 MW at 60% load factor. The potential of small hydro power projects is estimated at about 15,000 MW. While Ministry of Power in Government of India deals with large hydro projects, the responsibility of small hydro power development rests with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Small Hydro Power Situation Analysis

3. The estimated potential of power generation in the country from small / mini hydel projects is about 15,500 MW. Out of this potential about 50% lies in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. In the plain region Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Kerala have sizeable potential. State-wise details of the potential are given at Annexure. Small hydel projects normally do not encounter the problems associated with large hydel projects of deforestation and resettlement. The projects have potential to meet power requirements of remote and isolated areas. These factors make small hydel as one of the most attractive renewable source of grid quality power generation. The MNRE has taken a series of steps to promote development of SHP in a planned manner and improve reliability & quality of the projects. By giving various physical and financial incentives, investments have been attracted in commercial SHP projects apart from subsidizing State Governments to set up small hydro projects. The Ministry is giving special emphasis to promote use of efficient designs of water mills for mechanical as well as electricity generation and setting up of micro hydel projects for remote village electrification.

4. The SHP programme in India is now by and large private investment driven. 23 States have announced their policies to invite private sector to set up SHP projects. CERC had issued guidelines for determining tariff of power generated from SHP projects and SERCs, in their respective States, are deciding issues relating to tariff and other conditions. Generally, the projects are economically viable and private sector is showing lot of interest to set up SHP projects. The viability of these projects improves with increase in capacity of the project. Most of the States with reasonably high SHP potential are now interested in allotting the projects to the private sector for implementation and operation. Since SHP projects have reasonably good economic   viability,   a   number   of   financial   institutions   and   banks   are   ready   to   finance   these  projects. Accordingly, a major part of capacity addition and exploitation of SHP potential in future is expected from private sector projects. With a capacity addition of 1400 MW (target for the 11th Plan), the total installed capacity from SHP projects would be 3375 MW at the end of 11th Plan. One of the major limitations of small hydro project is long implementation time and statutory clearances associated with the projects. There is a need to systematically address issue of minimizing implementation time for SHP projects. A number of hilly States are interested in developing micro hydel projects and watermills for electrification of remote areas. Tea / Coffee garden owners and NGOs have also shown interest in installing micro hydel projects.

II        Growth So Far

5. The subject of small hydro between 3 to 25 MW was transferred from Ministry of Power to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in November, 1999. Prior to this, the Ministry was dealing with SHP projects up to 3 MW. In the year 2000, the total installed capacity of small hydro projects (up to 25 MW) was 1275 MW. There has been an increase of about 150% in the installed capacity in the last 10 years. A continuous and steady growth can be seen in the SHP sector. During the 9th Plan, a capacity of 269 MW was added. This had increased to 536 MW during the 10th Plan and it is expected that it would reach to 1400 MW during the 11th Plan. The average capacity addition of 55 MW per year during the 9th Plan has increased to 280 MW per year during the 11th Plan.

6. During the first four years of the 11th Plan, 119 Small Hydro Power projects aggregating 1066 MW capacity have been commissioned both in the commercial & State Sector and projects aggregating to about 350 MW are expected to be completed during 2011-12. The Ministry has supported 146 SHP Projects in the Government sector aggregating to 353 MW capacity. 292 private sector SHP projects with an aggregate capacity of 1486 MW have been set up. The total installed capacity of small hydro projects, as on 30th June, 2011, is 3105 MW and projects of about 1192 MW are in various stages of implementation. State-wise details are given at Annexure. Micro hydel projects and watermills have also shown a renewed interest in last 3-4 years. The State of Uttarakhand has launched a programme for systematically developing watermills. About 600 water mills have been installed during the first four years of the 11th Plan.

7. The Ministry has made two area specific projects mainly focusing on small / micro hydel projects. One project is being implemented to electrify / illuminate 1058 border villages of Arunachal Pradesh. This project involves completion of 45 on going and 107 new small / micro hydel projects. The 2nd project is ‘Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative’ wherein 30 small / micro hydel projects are being set up in Leh and Kargil districts.

III      Analysis of growth in 11th Plan period

8 .       The total installed capacity of SHP projects at the beginning of the 11th Plan was 1975 MW from 602 projects. 1066 MW capacity has been added against a target of 1050 MW in the first four years of the current Plan. This year, about 350 MW is expected to be achieved. The target of 1400 MW for the 11th Plan is expected to be achieved in full. The financial allocation for the small hydro programme for the 11th Plan was of Rs. 700 crore. The year-wise details of funds provided during the Plan Period, including funds for the Special Package for the Arunachal Pradesh project is as follows:




Target (MW)

Achievement (MW)

Allocation (RE) (Rs. in Crore)

Expenditure (Rs. in Crore)





















Total in first 4 years of 11th Plan








(as on 30.6.11)



(as on 30.6.11)

9. An evaluation of SHP schemes was carried out during 2008-09 by MITCON, Pune. The study had recommended continuation of schemes under SHP programme and subsidies for both public and private sector projects. After taking into consideration suggestions of the evaluation study, modified schemes were announced for micro hydel projects up to 100 kW and water mills in February, 2009 and for other components in November, 2009.

10. The implementation of SHP projects is governed by the State policies and the potential sites are allotted by the State Governments to private developers. The process of allotment of sites by the States and statutory clearances including land acquisition, forest clearance, irrigation clearance etc. takes long time. The implementation of project is also affected due to difficult terrain and limited working season. The other problem relates to inadequate evacuation facilities and transmission links. The project monitoring system is not adequate in the States.

11. The scheme to support of micro hydel and watermills was revised in February, 2009. After this, there has been considerable interest of State like Uttarakhand, J&K, and Karnataka to take up this activity.     The Ministry had sanctioned about 1500 watermills of which more than 600 watermills have been already installed. Tea and Coffee garden owners are also showing interest in directly implementing micro hydel and watermill projects.

12.       During the 11th Plan, the Ministry has stepped up its efforts towards regularly interacting with all potential States, developers and monitoring of projects. Meetings at the level of Minister and Secretary have been held to resolve the issues. The States have been asked to draw specific plan for systematically harnessing SHP potential and increase the pace of implementation of projects. It is suggested that basin wise plan to evacuate power from SHP projects should developed in the State so that the projects do not encounter problem of evacuation of power when they are completed. The transmission links and evacuation facilities should be closely linked with the progress of SHP projects.

IV       SWOT analysis


13.       Electricity generation from hydro projects is inflation free due to absence of fuel cost. It involves mature technology with very high prime moving efficiency and operational flexibility. Small hydro projects normally do not encounter the problems associated with large hydel
projects of deforestation and resettlement.         The projects have potential to meet power requirements of remote and isolated areas. These projects have the potential to turn around economic activities in villages and remote areas. These factors make small hydro as one of the
most attractive renewable source of grid quality power generation. The SHP programme in the country is now private sector driven. The projects are viable and 23 States of the country have policies in place towards private sector participation to set up SHP projects. The country has good manufacturing base and almost all equipment requirements are indigenously meet. The technology to generate power from SHP projects is fully mature in the country and the equipment normally has efficiency of more than 85%. The capacity utilization factor in the projects could be as high as 95% subject to availability of water in river / canal. The electricity generating watermills have proved to be quite useful in providing electricity to the owner of the watermill. In some cases, they have also shared electricity with some more houses. The
electricity is also used for providing various services to the villages.


14.       Water being State subject, the SHP projects are governed by the State policies and the potential sites are allotted by the State Governments to private developers. The projects involve time consuming process for allotment of sites by the States and statutory clearances including land acquisition, forest clearance, irrigation clearance etc. The projects have relatively longer gestation period in completing the projects due to difficult terrain and limited working season. In addition, the location of the projects is remote and evacuation facilities for power generated from projects are very weak.


15.       The estimated potential for power generation from small hydro projects in the country is over 15,000 MW. So far only 19 per cent of the identified potential in the country has been exploited. There has been an increase of about 150% in the installed capacity in the last 10 years. A continuous and steady growth can be seen in the SHP sector. The average capacity addition of 55 MW per year during the 9th Plan has increased to 280 MW per year during the 11th Plan. The States of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand have highest potential for development of small hydro. All the four States have policy to invite private sector to set up SHP projects. The State of Karnataka has allotted 300 projects of about 2000 MW, Chhattisgarh has allotted 70 projects aggregating to 685 MW, Maharashtra has allotted 41 projects of 135 MW and the State of Odisha has allotted 29 SHP projects of 369 MW to the private sector. These States can contribute a lot in providing opportunities to harness this potential.


16.       Hydro rich States are normally self-sufficient in power generation capacity. Maximum generation from hydro projects is during monsoon months and this is the time when power requirement is comparatively less. Hence the States may be reluctant to sign long term PPAs with the developers. Setting up of SHP projects does have some impact on environment as these projects interact with water and land. SHP projects are normally set up in hilly areas. The land required to set up project may have some trees or forest cover. Hence, the project would require compulsory afforestation and forest clearance. Water of the river / canal is also diverted for a limited distance to generate electric power and hence this may also have some impact on the environment. Aquatic life (fish etc) may also have some impact of the project. This apart, the activity during construction of the SHP project would also have impact on the environment. Sometimes SHP developers do face objections from the local community. Normally, the issues relate to land, employment of local people and contribution towards local area development. Time taken in obtaining various clearances at the State level, transfer of land, forest clearance, availability of reliable hydrological data, timely creation of suitable power evacuation facilities are the main issues which require streamlining and attention of the State Government for faster development of SHP projects. If these are not timely addressed, they can be threat to the growth of SHP sector.

V         Recommendations for Policy

a) Capacity Addition during 12th Plan

 17.      The Sub-group reviewed the progress and growth in the SHP sector during 10th and 11th Plan, status of prospective sites allotted to private sector in major  States, policy provisions in various States including RPO and REC etc. The Sub-group recognised and recommended that:

(i)       A large part of capacity addition of SHP projects during 12th  Plan would comefrom private sector projects. The Ministry should review State Policies to ensure that the momentum of private sector participation in SHP is not lost.

(ii)      In last 3-4  years, most of the projects have come up in HP, Punjab, Karnataka,and Maharashtra. There is a need to encourage more States and bring them on board for developing more Government / Private sector projects. Focus is to be given to J&K and Uttarakhand in North, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in South, M.P and Chhattisgarh in Central and Sikkim and Mizoram in North East of India.

(iii)     State   wise,   year   wise   targets   should   also   be   fixed   in   SHP   Programme   with identification of projects likely to be commissioned in following 3-4 years. This should be done in consultation with States and project developers.

(iv) Project wise monitoring should start at State as well as MNRE level.

(v)      The Ministry may consider registration and on- line submission of capital subsidy applications for private sector projects.

Subsidy for SHP projects during the 12th Plan

18      MNRE subsidy is playing very important and catalectic role in covering risk and making SHP projects economically viable. The sub-group recommended that the MNRE subsidy should be continued in the 12th Plan also. In this regard following has been recommended:

(i)       There has been an increase in cost of SHP projects. From Rs.6.5 to Rs.7.0 crore per MW in the year 2008-09, it is now in the range of Rs.7.5 to Rs.8.5 crore per MW.   Keeping this in view, MNRE subsidy may be increased by 25%.

(ii)      In the current MNRE scheme, the subsidy for incremental MWs is extremely low. This should be increased to Rs.1.0 crore per MW for government sector projects and Rs. 50 lakh per MW for private sector projects.

(iii)     In  the  meeting  taken  by  the  Minister  (NRE)  with  Power  /  RE  Ministers  of  all North Eastern States, a strong apple was made to give 90% subsidy for SHP projects in NE States based on actual project cost rather than normative cost of projects. However, keeping in view the likely financial implications, it was suggested that this may be made applicable for projects up to 2 MW capacities in NE States.

(iv)     The   scheme   for   renovation   and   modernisation   of   old   SHP   projects   may   be modified. The States should be encouraged to undertake the work in a joint sector / PPP mode. The Ministry’s scheme should also be applicable to this route as the objective should be to maximize generation from existing projects.

(c)      Potential Assessment

21.       The Sub-group noted that MNRE has constituted a working group to start the work of reassessing SHP potential in the country. The sub-group was of the opinion that this is an important step for systematically harnessing SHP potential in future. To accomplish this task the
Sub-group recommended:

(i)       The Ministry should earmark some funds for this activity during 12th plan
(ii)      To start the work, some specific areas and States may be selected for pilot work.
(iii)     Possibilities of undertaking environment impact assessment along with potential assessment may be explored.
(iv)     GIS techniques and modelling may be necessary for this work.
(v)      Hydrological information may also be collected from on-going SHP projects for validation of modelling of potential.
(vi)     The Ministry may extend financial support to States for undertaking this work.
(vii)    MNRE    may    consider    creating    Regional    centres    for    small    hydro    potential assessment and identification of potential sites.

(d)     Micro Hydel projects and Water Mills

19.       The Sub group recommended that the scope of micro hydel and water mill scheme of the Ministry should be enlarged. Micro hydel projects up to 250 KW should be covered under the scheme. The water mill support should also include support for economic activities. In this regard it was recommended that:

(i)       The current level of Subsidy may be increased by about 25%
(ii)      Tea   /   coffee   garden   owners,   NGOs,   Educational   institutions   may   be   directly supported under the scheme.
(iii)     Private   sector   SHP   developers   may   be   asked   to   set   up   micro   hydel   projects exclusively to meet power requirements of villages. The scheme should support this activity.
(iv)     The scheme should  also support canal / river based velocity turbine projects or any other innovative idea. The financial support may also be extended to turbine manufacturers, in case they are interested in setting up 1 or 2 demonstration projects.

VI      Likely capacity addition during 12th Plan

20.      The sub-group felt that a capacity of 2000 MW can be added during the 12th plan period,

However, with some aggressive steps, facilitating time bound clearances and close monitoring, a capacity addition of about 2500 MW can also be achieved. For micro hydel and water mills the sub- group recommended a target of 250 micro hydel projects aggregating to 25 MW and 2000 water mills for the plan period. The Sub-Group recommended following year wise targets for the programme:


Sl. No


Physical Target



350 MW



400 MW



400 MW



450 MW






2100 MW

VII     Areas for Research and Development support and approach thereof

21.      The      Sub-Group      discussed      in      detail      research      and      development      activities      and Manufacturing base for equipments used in SHP projects in the country. It was noted that the current manufacturing capacity is of about 1500 MW per year with in all the manufacturers. About 70% of the capacity is used for export. All major equipment manufacturers of Europe are represented in India. Small hydro is technically matured sector with an experience of over 100 years.         The    equipment    used    in    small    hydro    projects     is     normally    over    80%    efficient.

Advancements in the sector are of the nature of technical up-gradation.    The control systems in  SHP projects have seen a good advancement in the last 10 – 15 years. The electric / electronic controls are now small and more reliable with higher degree of automation. These are being achieved by the manufacturers through a mix of indigenous efforts and to some extent through technical collaborations.

22.      The   Ministry   is   supporting   R&D   activity   in   this   sector   mainly   to   create   testing   and

standardization facilities. A set of 31 standards / manuals/ guidelines are being developed by AHEC, IIT Roorkee on various aspects / components of SHP projects. These would lead to more reliable and cost effective SHP projects. On-site testing facilities have been created to facilitate performance testing of SHP stations. The Ministry has made this mandatory for availing subsidy. A real-time digital simulator has been set up at AHEC to provide training to SHP operators. Now, a hydraulic turbine test laboratory is being set up which would act as an independent test laboratory for various turbine models and would also help in testing new designs of hydraulic turbines.

i.     The sub group noted that the work of preparing 31 Standards/ guidelines by AHEC is now   near   completion.   It   was   recommended   that   this   work   should   be   completed   by December, 2011.
ii.     The Ministry should support development of velocity turbine and extra low head turbines for canal / river based micro hydel projects.iii.     A plan to optimally utilise the hydraulic turbine laboratory being set up at AHEC should be drawn.
iv.     Keeping in view the developments in low head turbines, AHEC should set up a test rig so hat facility of testing such turbines

VIII.        Requirement of Funds

23.      The    Sub-Group    made    a    broad    assessment    of    financial    requirements    for    the    SHP programmes. It was felt that there should be a planned and systematic approach for potential and resource assessment, for which funds should be allotted in the plan period. The Sub-group noted that there is a separate group looking in to financial requirements for developing transmission network for renewable energy projects. Taking in to consideration the funds required for Central Financial Assistance under various schemes of SHP, requirement under Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh projects, the sub-group recommended following requirement of funds for the programme for the 12th Plan Period.


Sl. No


Financial Requirement (Rs. in crore)




100.00   ( Ar.Prd) 100.00   (Ladakh)



180.00 140.00 (Ladakh)













IX.           Areas for policy changes

24.           The sub-group recommended that MNRE should come out with guidelines which

should be mandatory for the States for systematically developing SHP potential including main parameters for deciding capacity of the project, minimum water requirement in the stream, local area development strategy etc.

i.     The  Ministry  should  start  activity  for  collecting  hydrological  information  with  the involvement of State Government with a view to develop future projects in minimum possible time.

ii.     The  procedure  for  obtaining  clearances  required   for  SHP  projects  should  be  made online and MNRE should support the States to get this implemented.

iii.     MNRE     should     assist     in     organizing     State     level     and     district     level     orientation programme to sensitize local authorities for the benefits of timely implementation of projects.

iv.     Small hydro power sector is faced with shortage of trained and skilled manpower at all levels. In view of vast potential and scattered sites across the mountain region of the country, there is a need to train manpower at different level by introducing courses at Diploma and ITI level.

X.       Action Plan

25.      The aim of the programme is to increase current rate of capacity addition of 300 MW per year to 500 MW per year in next 2-3 years and facilitate SHP developers to reduce implementation time of the projects. The will be achieved through close monitoring of implementation of projects, discussions with the States to streamline procedures, discussions with  the transmission corporations  in the  States  to  develop systematic plan of evacuation and also to encourage States like Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, J&K, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra to allot new sites to take up new projects. The gestation period to set up a small hydro project is about 4-5 years including time required for survey & investigation, DPR preparation, various clearances and construction of project at site. Following specific steps have been identified to achieve increase in rate of capacity addition from SHP projects:

  • State-wise identification of projects which are likely to be commissioned during next 2-3 years and the 12th Plan.
  • Strengthen monitoring mechanism in every potential State to monitor progress in these projects; identification of problems and re-dresser mechanism.
  • Quarterly review meetings by MNRE with States and SHP developers.
  • Project-wise feedback mechanism from the developers

26.       Any effort to accelerate capacity addition from SHP project done today would result the capacity addition only after 4 years or so. With a reasonable growth rate it is expected that this would go to about 450 to 500 MW per year in the 3rd / 4th year of the 12th Plan.

XI. Likely Social, Economic and Financial gains

27.       The small hydro programme has two distinct components. One, SHP projects in MW size capacity range, which are grid connected and normally developed by the State Government or by a private developer. These projects are instrumental in increasing installed capacity of
power generation in the State and eventually overall capacity addition in the country. Apart from this benefit, where the project is being developed there is a series of socio-economic activity in the project area which helps in overall development. Since the power project is a
permanent asset in remote area, it provides sustainable economic activity and employment opportunity. The other component of SHP programme is of decentralized power and energy generation through micro hydel and watermills. These applications have the potential of
developing local entrepreneurs and meeting energy requirements of a village / community. A small / micro hydel project and watermills have the potential to provide sustainable economic strength to a village community.



(AS ON 30.6.2011)


Sl. No.



Projects Installed

Projects under Implementation


Total Capacity(MW)


Capacity (MW)


Capacity (MW)


Andhra Pradesh








Arunachal Pradesh
























































Himachal Pradesh








































Madhya Pradesh
















































































Tamil Nadu
















Uttar Pradesh
















West Bengal








A&N Islands















In a bid to harness green and clean natural resources for environmental benefits and energy security, the Kerala government has framed a policy for development of small hydro projects with installed capacity up to 25 MW. 


Renewable energy purhcase obligations is pushing the states cast their net wide on renewable energy. Come up with a practical policy. Be it wind. solar or biomass and even hydro small and large.

Kerala is one among them with considerable potential in the south of India.


The Kerala Small Hydro Development Policy 2012, the draft of which was recently released by the Energy Management Centre, an autonomous body under the state's Department of Power, sets a goal of commissioning 150 MW additional capacity from small hydro projects by 2015. As of December 2011, a total of 19 small hydro projects with an installed capacity of 133.87 MW had been commissioned in the state. The capacity addition of 150 MW, which is likely to require an investment of Rs 1,050 crore at current prices, would enhance the contribution of small hydro projects in the total installed capacity of the state to about 285 MW.

Kerala's small hydro potential is estimated to be around 700 MW.

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission has issued guidelines with regard to purchase of electricity from renewable energy sources including small hydro projects. The guidelines make it mandatory for the distribution licensees to source a certain percentage of their power purchases from renewable energy sources. At present, renewable energy sources contribute about 272 Mu of energy per annum, constituting 1.7 per cent of the total 15,437 Mu available from various installed capacities in the state. The energy demand is projected to attain a 10 per cent growth. The state government anticipates that over the next five years, energy consumption would reach 23,157 Mu per annum.

In accordance with KSERC guidelines, renewable energy sources are required to attain 10 per cent of the energy supplies by 2015. This translates to 2,316 Mu. The guidelines also require small hydro projects to account for 40 per cent of the renewable energy sources which translate to 926 Mu. Considering average plant load factor of 30 per cent, there is need for additional capacity of 353 MW from small hydro projects by 2015.

The draft of the policy on small hydro development clearly lays down the methods that would be adopted by the state while assigning projects to private developers and local bodies. Small hydro projects below 25 MW identified by the government or state sponsored agencies and not reserved for development by the Kerala State Electricity Board would be assigned to private developers as independent power projects or captive power projects through competitive bidding on PPP/BOOT mode for 30 years from date of allotment. Small hydro projects below 500 kW would be reserved for development by local self-government institutions. In such cases, there would be no competitive bidding.

In case of independent power projects and captive power projects, the allotment process would involve two stages - request for qualification and request for proposal. In the RfQ stage, bidders would be evaluated on the basis of their technical and financial strengths. Shortlisted applicants would be asked to submit proposals and bids in the second stage. For each project, bidders would be required to quote a premium per MW, payable upfront to the government.




Small Hydro / Micro hydel projects / Watermills Tamilnadu

The rural energy scenario in India is characterized by inadequate and unreliable supply of energy services.  Micro hydel Projects and Watermills can provide a solution for the energy problem in rural, remote and hilly areas where extension of grid system is comparatively uneconomical.

A number of mini/micro hydro projects have been set up in remote and isolated areas. A number of tea garden owners have also set up such micro hydel projects to meet their captive requirement of power. 

Water wheels, have traditionally been used for rice hulling, milling of grain and other mechanical applications. These water mills are normally of very old design and work at very low efficiencies. With the R&D efforts, new and improved designs of water mills have been developed for mechanical as well as electricity generation of 3-5 kW. These designs were tested at AHEC, IIT Roorkee and have been replicated by 6-7 small scale manufacturers. 

Local organizations such as the Water Mill Associations, cooperative societies, registered NGOs, local bodies are being encouraged to install watermills in their areas. A number of NGOs are now propagating water mills for electricity generation to meet small scale electrical requirements of villages. The water mills costs approx.2 lakhs /KW.

Subsidy  for Watermills and Micro Hydel Projects:

(a) Watermills:

  1. Mechanical output only - Rs. 35,000/- per Watermill
    1. Electrical output (up to 5 kW) - Rs. 1,10,000/- per Watermill
    2. Both mechanical &  electrical output (up to 5 kW) - Rs. 1,10,000/- per Watermill
  3. Micro Hydel Projects up to 100 kW Capacity  - Rs.40,000/- per KW

Why Small Hydro Hydro is a renewable source of clean energy Has very little operation cost Sustainable since the projects uses only renewable resources

HYDRO POTENTIAL IN INDIASmall hydro potential in the country (<25 MW) – 15,000 MW Small hydro plants in operation – 430 with installed capacity of 1423 MW Small hydro plants under construction – 187 schemes with installation capacity of 521 MW


Industry ChallengesHydrology Data AccuracyInput Cost increaseStagnant PPA RatesNature’s furyProject Delays

Input CostsIncrease in Civil CostIncrease in Cement and Steel CostIncrease in Fuel CostsIncrease in E&M equipment costIncrease Steel, Copper pricesIncrease in Fuel Costs

Increase in E&M CostDramatic increase in Steel cost in 2008Increase in Copper prices since 2005Significant increase in interest rates and hencecost of capital

Increase in Steel pricesIncrease in Copper prices

Net Effect of Input CostsCost Per MW in 2003 3.9 Cr / MWCost Per MW in 2005 4.2 Cr / MW 8%Cost Per MW in 2007 5 Cr / MW 26 %Cost per MW in 2008 6.0 Cr /MW 52 %

Input Costs & PPAPPA remained the same since 2003Rs 2.80 / Unit (in karnataka for 10 years, based oncost of 3.9 Cr /MW)With input cost increasing by 52% and PPAremaining the same, Project becomes unviableand hence not getting implemented

PPA in other countriesSouth Africa 12 Dollar Cents (RS 5)Turkey 13 Dollar Cents (Rs 5.2)Vietnam 8 Dollar Cents (3.2)Philippines 10 Dollar Cents (Rs 4.2)Indonesia 15 Dollar Cents (Rs 6.0)Srilanka 8 Dollar Cents (Rs 3)23rd August 2008 Renewable Energy India 2008 Expo New Delhi

Current situation in Small Hydro• Total Duty and Tax burden of 18 to 20 % ofproject cost• Deemed Export Status if ICB followed• Duty Drawback (pay first, claim refund forexcise and customs)• Advance Authorization for importedcomponents

Taxes and duties for Small HydroAll Small Hydro projects to have automaticDeemed export statusExempt from Excise duty and customs duty with noriders attached (The Turkey example)Uniform VAT structure across the states (same rateas CST)

PPAPPA Needs to be responsive to the market conditions(Andhra has increased PPA for wind power from 3.10 to3.50 on account of steel price increase*)Allow for changes in a signed PPA, if ground conditionschangeNo cap on total units generated

ConclusionSmall Hydro is a viable business propositionChallenges and risks are highThe growth can be stimulated by-Responsive PPA (will attract investments)- Policy support in line with other power project
The above is a power point made in 2008. It holds true even now.


Policy adopted by other States for allotment of SHP sites 

Some of the states have issued guidelines for allotment of sites for development of SHP projects through private sector participation. The abstract of the guidelines obtained from the websites are given below: 

1. Maharashtra
The bidders shall quote a premium payable to Government of Maharashtra over and above threshold premium and support his bid by Earnest Money Deposit (EMD). Upfront premium will be the primary consideration for allotment of the projects. Upfront premium offered by both IPPs/CPPs will be evaluated. The highest bid so evaluated will be the criteria for selection. 
2. Uttarakhand
The SHP projects shall be allotted on payment of threshold premium. i.e. Rs. 5 Lakhs per MW or part thereof. If there is more than one applicant, preference shall be given to the person of the area, or the District. Not more than 3 projects shall be allotted for implementation to a prospective private developer. 

3. Himachal Pradesh

Allocation of SHP sites will be done on the basis of marks allocation to the following factor. a) Financial capability  - 60 marks b) Technical capability  - 30 marks c) Personal interaction  - 10 marks However, to qualify the financial capability, minimum assets (both movable & immovable) should not be less than Rs. 10 Lakhs. 

4. Karnataka

The applicant shall submit a pre-feasibility report prepared as per Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited’s (KREDL) specification based on scientifically conducted survey and factual data obtained from recognized sources. Source of data must be Consultative Paper on “Procurement of Power from small hydro power (up to 5 MW)”                                       31/31 quoted and may be subjected to such verification as deemed fit by KREDL to establish authenticity and correctness of the data. 
The applicant must demonstrate his ability to raise a minimum of 11% of the project cost as promoter’s equity. This capacity must be demonstrated by production of a statement of net worth issued by a banker or a certified Charted Accountant. An application fee of Rs.30,000/- per MW of the exploited potential, of which Rs,5000/- per MW shall be nonrefundable part, subject to a minimum of Rs.30,000/- per application shall be paid through DD.  
KREDL / Govt. of Karnataka reserves the right to question any data / feasibility report submitted by the applicant which are based on actual measurements conducted either by the applicant himself or by a recognized authority. The allottee shall execute an agreement with the Govt. within three months from the date of issue of the capacity allotment order. The allottee shall prepare and submit a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to KREDL along with processing fee as may be fixed in this behalf within the time frame prescribed. Policy on allotment of sites in Tamil Nadu to the developers shall be in accordance with the guidelines of Tamil Nadu Government.                    (By order of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission)


Tamilnadu hydro power policy

1.1 Hydro Power  Hydropower is a renewable, non-polluting and environmentally benign source of energy. It is perhaps the oldest renewable energy technique known to the mankind for mechanical energy conversion as well as electricity generation. 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 of 1, 56, 092 MW in the country as on 31-12-2009, hydro power contributes about 24% i.e. 36,885 MW.1.2 Development of Small Hydro Power Projects Hydro power projects are generally categorized into small and large hydro. 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 of small hydro power (up to 25 MW) is given to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Depending upon the capacities, SHP projects are categorized as Micro, Mini and Small hydro projects as under: Class Station Capacity (kW) Micro Up to 100 Mini 101 to 2000 Small 2001 to 25000 SHP is considered as a reliable option for development of rural areas and is one of the thrust areas of power generation from renewable in the MNRE.  It has been recognized that small hydro power projects can play a critical role in improving the over all energy scenario of the country and in particular for remote and inaccessible areas. Estimated potential of SHP in the country is of about 15,000 MW. The total installed capacity of SHP in India (upto 25 MW) as on 31-03-2009 is 2429.77 MW from 674 projects. (Source: MNRE). 

SHP Project Scenario in Tamil Nadu 
The installed capacity of SHP in Tamil Nadu is 90.05 MW from 15 stations contributing 0.88% of the Tamil Nadu’s total installed capacity  of around 10214 MW as on 31-12-2009. The following are the list of small hydro power plants in Tamil Nadu:

Out of the total installed capacity of 90.05 MW, TNEB owns 89.70 MW and the only private sector small hydro project is at Tuklapatti (Madurai District) commissioned in 2008 with a capacity of 0.35 MW. The Works are under progress for the TNEB’s Periyar Vaigai Barrage SHP to the tune of 13 MW. As per the report of the MNRE, the total numbers of identified sites in Tamil Nadu as on 31-03-2009 for development of SHP projects are 176 with the total capacity of around  499 MW. However, in the MNRE website the list of potential sites available is only for 373.455 MW and 155 locations.
Arunachal pradesh hydroelectric power policy and small hydro policy Hydro Power Policy 2007 latest.pdf
Hydro Power Potential :- The topography of the State provides for very ideal conditions for development of hydro-electric power projects. There are five major river basins i~lthe State, namely KamengRiver basin, Subansiri River basin, Siang River basin, Dibang River basin and Lohit River basin. Thereare many more smaller river system in the State which also offer very conducive sites for hydro powerprojects. Almost all the major river system flows in the North-South direction and ultimately drainsinto the Brahmaputra. Apart from the major rivers, the State has many small rivulets which are perennial in nature and providing ideal condition for developing projects in the category of micro/mini andsmall HEP. As per the preliminary ranking study done by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), thetotal potential from 89 major projects is estimated to be about 49, 126 MW;.The potential from micro/mini/small projects is also estimated tQbe about 1600 MW. If the available potential can be harnessed,the State would be floating in "Hydro Dollars" as popularly said tlJ.atthe Arab Countries are floatingin "Petro Dollars".The list of the 89 major projects as per the CEA's ranking study is appended asannexure-I.3. Present power scenario :- Despite availability of such huge potential, the State has so far developedonly 33.21 MWunder the State sector from 53 Nos. of micro/mini/small HEP (annexure - 11).UndertheCentral Sector,the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has commissioned RanganadiHEP with an installed capacity of 405 MW. Another project i.e Kameng HEP with an installed capacityof 600 MW is under construction by the same agency which is likely to be completed during the 11thPlan period. Under the State sector 37 Nos. of micro/mini/small projects have been taken up which areat various stages of construction with a target capacity addition of 58.99 MW during the 10th& 11thPlan periods (annexure- 111).The present generation from the hydro source is therefore, not adequateto meet the peak domestic demand of about 90 MW. Thus, the State Govt. has to resort to costlygeneration from the DG sets for about 20 MW and import about 25 MW from the Central sector. Theremaining shortfall is handled by resorting to power cuts/load shedding

Incentives for setting up small hydro power project in Arunachal Pradesh
Development policy of the State Govt.:- In consideration of the fragile geological condition due toyoung mountain formation, the State falling under seismic zone-V, preservation/protection of rich andrare flora and fauna, respect to the sentiments of the peace loving tribal people in the event ofdisplacement and relocation and the topography ideally suiting development of the projects as runoff-the-river projects, the State Govt. has taken the policy decision to develop the available potentialof the bigger projects in a most environment, eco-friendly and judicious manner. As such the following policy decision applies for developing any project :-(i) The hydro power projects in the State would be developed as run-off-the-river projects. As faras possible, storage projects involving high dams would be avoided.(ii) Prior approval/consent of the State Govt. must be obtained by the developers for implementationof any hydro power project in the State.(iii) DPR of the project must be got approved by the State Govt. also prior to implementation by thedevelopers.(iv) The State Govt. agencies must be invariably associated at the stage of project formulation/investigation also.(v) The State Govt. must be taken into full confidence in all matters by the Central Govt. and thedevelopers.(vi) Preference shall generally be given to the investigating agency for the development of the project.The projects in the category of micro/mini/small HEP shall be developed by the State Govt. tomeet the local needs ofthe people through the Department of Hydro Power Development.

Identified sites for Hydro Power Potential in Arunachal Pradesh as perCEA Ranking Studies



IIT-Roorkee to vet design of small hydro projects

The state government has decided to entrust the task of scrutiny and approval of design of small hydro-electric projects (SHEPs) proposed by private developers to Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee.

Two centres of IIT-Roorkee, alternate hydro energy centre and department of water resources development and management, will be engaged for the purpose. The design of the SHEPs will be adopted by the state technical committee after approval by the institute.

The vetting of design of SHEPs is meant for expediting implementation of the projects.


The state government had signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with 32 developers for hydel power projects, envisaging generation capacity of 409 MW and involving investment of Rs 2,250 crore.

The state energy department plans to operationalize 13 hydro electric power projects over and above the 13 running projects.

Of the 13 new hydro power projects, four will be executed by the state owned Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) with the remaining nine to be developed by private players. These hydro power projects are to be taken up in Keonjhar, Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Koraput, Bargarh, Khurda, Rayagada, Gajapati and Cuttack districts and expected to be commissioned in the 12th Plan period (2012-17).

The cost of hydro power projects, to be implemented by OHPC, can be assessed after preparation of detailed project report (DPR).

OHPC is currently operating seven hydro-electric projects- Hirakud-I (Burla)- 275.5 MW, Hirakud-II (Chipilima)- 72 MW, Balimela- 510 MW, Rengali-250 MW, Upper Kolab- 320 MW, Upper Indravati- 600 MW and Machkund- 14.75 MW.

Among the private developers that have firmed up plans for SHEPs in the state include city-based Sidheswari Power Generation Pvt Ltd that has proposed 10 MW Kharagpur SHEP in Koraput district.

Similarly, Secunderabad-based Pallavi Power & Mines had proposed 15 MW SHEP on river Kolab between Tentuliguma and Sangumma. Another Secunderbad-based developer- Sarvani Energy had planned 15 MW Dumajhori SHEP, four km from the Kolab river in Koraput district.



Small Hydropower  Development 

(Feb. 03 – 14, 2009)

at  Roorkee, INDIA




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


4.1 Grid- interactive SHP projects 

Beginning of the 21st century saw near commercialization in the small hydro sector.  There are 604 small hydro projects in India with total installed capacity of 2005 MW.  The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy 

decided that out of the total grid interactive power generation capacity that is being installed, 2% should come from small hydro. This translates to about 1400 MW capacity addition during 2007-2012.  The present focus of the SHP programme is to lower the cost of equipment, increase its reliability and set up projects in areas that give the maximum advantage in terms of capacity utilisation. SHP projects are being set up both in public and private sector. 

The Indian small hydropower development programme received a new dimension and tempo after the liberalization of the economy and invitation private sector for investment in power. 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. In line with Government of India policy, 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. The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) started financing private sector SHP projects.  Consequent to the ESMAP study, in 1993-94, 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. Following this World Bank offered a second line of credit worth US$ 110 million to IREDA,

Today the SHP programme in India is essentially private investment driven. 133 private sector SHP projects of about 605 MW capacity have been setup. 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.  The Government of India announced the Electricity Act in 2003, Electricity Policy in 2005 and Tariff Policy in 2006 to create a conducive atmosphere for investments in the power sector.  

With the liberalization of the economy, the Government of India has been encouraging and invited private sector for investment in the power sector.  Accordingly, a conducive policy environment has been created by modifying the Electricity Act. The new Electricity Act-2003 deals with the laws relating to generation, transmission, distribution, trading and use of electricity.  The Act has specific provision for the promotion  of  renewable energy including hydropower and cogeneration.  It has been made mandatory that every state would specify a percentage of electricity to be purchased from renewables by a distribution licensee.  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 Policy underlines that renewable energy potential needs to be exploited and private sector would be encouraged through  suitable promotional measures.  Regarding fixing of tariff, 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 Electricity Act and Tariff Policy is favourably tilted towards increasing power generation from renewables.   

( International Conference on Small Hydropower - Hydro Sri Lanka, 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).  The state government policies have been further refined to make them entrepreneur friendly. 19 States in India, namely, Andhra Pradehsh, Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have announced policies for setting up commercial SHP projects through private sector participation. The facilities available in the States include wheeling of power produced, banking, buy-back of power, facility for third party sale, etc.  The procedure for allotment of sites have been streamlined and made transparent.  While some states continued with allotment of already identified sites, some others even allowed identification of potential sites by the entrepreneurs themselves.  Number of financial institutions and Banks are financing the projects.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is giving financial subsidy, both in public and private sector to set up SHP projects.  In order to improve quality and reliability of projects, 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.  In order to ensure project quality/performance, the ministry has been insisting to adhere to IEC/International standards for equipment and civil works. The subsidy available from the Ministry is linked to use of equipment manufactured to IEC or other prescribed international standards. The equipment in the project is required to confirm to the following IEC standards. 



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, remote and hilly areas where extension of grid system is comparatively uneconomical, promoting mini hydro projects is one of the objectives of the small hydro Power programme in India.  A number of mini/micro hydro projects have been set up in remote and isolated areas, mainly in Himalayan region. While these projects are developed by various state agencies responsible for renewable energy, the projects are normally maintained with local community participation.  A number of tea garden owners have also set up such micro hydro projects to meet their captive requirement of power.          

Water wheels, have traditionally been used in the Himalayan regions for rice hulling, milling of grain and other mechanical applications. These water mills are normally of very old design and work at very low efficiencies. It has been estimated  that  there are more than 1.5  lakh potential water mill sites in the Himalayan regions of India. With the R&D efforts, new and improved designs of water mills have been developed for mechanical as well as electricity generation of 3-5 kW. These designs were tested at AHEC, IIT Roorkee and have been replicated by  6-7 small scale manufacturers.  Local organizations such as the Water Mill Associations, cooperative societies, registered NGOs, local bodies, and State Nodal Agencies are being encouraged to install watermills in their areas. A number of NGOs are now propagating water mills for electricity generation to meet small scale electrical requirements of villages. 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.  A mass movement with community participation to install electricity generating watermills is now underway in Uttaranchal.

 Manufacturing Status 


India has a wide base of manufacturers of equipment for small hydro power projects.  State-of-the-art equipment is available indigenously. 15 manufacturers fabricate almost the entire range and type of SHP equipment.  Manufacturers capacity is estimated at about 250 MW per year.  In addition, there are about 5 manufactures that are producing   micro hydel   and watermill equipment. 

 Technical and consultation Services

Consultancy services in the field of small hydro projects are available from a number of Government / private consultancy organizations.  The Ministry is strengthening technical institutions to provide such services.  AHEC, IIT Roorkee is providing full range of technical services in the field of small hydro including survey and investigation, DPR preparation, project design etc. On site testing facility has been created at AHEC to test SHP stations for their performance.  A Real Time simulator has been set up at AHEC which is providing hands on experience to operators of SHP stations. It is the first SHP simulator in the country. The simulator is capable of replicate all conditions of a hydro power station. AHEC is offering regular training programmes for operators and engineers of SHP stations.  

With the constant efforts of the government and techno-economic viability with some preferential treatment, small hydro has emerged as a viable business option over these years.  Over 130 private sector small hydro power projects are now operational in the country on canals as well as small rivers. It is expected that the growth of small hydro would be @ 250-300 MW per year in the coming years.  Simultaneously, micro hydro projects have also emerged as a reliable source of electricity generation for remote and isolated areas. 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.  Trained manpower and good equipment manufacturing base exists to cater growing needs of the sector.  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.  

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


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