New & Renewable Energy Ministry will seek Cabinet approval to a proposal to reclassifying large hydro power plants as renewable projects, a move which can help India achieve clean power capacity of 230 GW by 2022. “I have a study carried out by Power Secretary and his team which demonstrates that except 4-5 countries almost universally in the world, hydro power (large project) is considered renewable. We are almost on the verge of finalising that report, which should shortly be taking up to the Cabinet (for approval),” Power, Coal, Mines and New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters here. Removing the distinction between small project (up to 25 MW) and large hydro project can help India projecting that its installed renewable energy capacity would be 230 GW by 2022.
Goyal further said, “I do believe that hydro power of all sizes and shapes should be considered part of renewable energy.” Elaborating further on the move he said, “I am not trying to cut corners and now say 175 GW (renewable energy target by 2022) will include large hydro and therefore scale down my ambition. When I add large hydro to renewable, I would add that much capacity to renewable energy. I think we will go to 230 GW after adding large hydro to renewable energy.” Of the 306 GW installed power generation capacity, 43 GW comes from large hydro projects (above 25 MW) and 44.23 GW from other renewable power generation capacities.
India has set an ambitious target of adding 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 which includes 100 GW of solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro-power (up to 25 MW capacity each). Besides better projection of India’s renewable energy capacities, the move would help the hydro power sector as it would be able to access incentives being provided to renewable energy projects by the government. Earlier in March, Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh had told the Lok Sabha that the planned hydro power generation capacity addition of 4,371 mw out of total target of 10,897 mw in the 12th Plan will not be completed. “Based on the current status of works, out of 12th Plan hydro capacity addition target of 10,897 mw, capacity aggregating 4,371 mw is slipping, and 930 mw capacity is critical to commissioning during the 12th Plan,” he had said.