India : Proposal to bring hydro power under renewable energy ambit in Cabinet soon

The move, if implemented, could prove to a major positive for capital intensive hydro projects allowing them access to global funds and the benefits available for green energy projects

New Delhi: The power ministry is planning to place a proposal to bring large hydro power units under the ambit of renewable energy before the Union Cabinet in a month, power minister R K Singh has said.

“We have sent the proposal to consider hydro power projects under renewable energy. It has been circulated in all the ministries for getting comments. The moment comments come, the ministry will place it in the Cabinet for approval,” Singh said at the second global RE-Invest Summit here.

The move, if implemented, could prove to a major positive for capital intensive hydro projects allowing them access to global funds and the benefits available for green energy projects. Singh said hydro projects across the world are considered as part of clean and green energy and the government, therefore, believes that they should be under the ambit of renewable energy.

Hydropower projects in India are typically categorized in two segments — small and large hydro. Projects of up to 25 Megawatt capacity are categorized as small. While the power ministry is responsible for large hydro projects, the mandate for the small hydro power lies with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Renewable energy projects, excluding large hydro, account for around 20 per cent or 71,000 Mw of the total installed power generation capacity of 345,000 Mw. Capacity of large hydro power projects stands at around 45,000 Mw, contributing to 13 per cent of the total power capacity.