Despite a proposed bailout plan for the hydro power sector, concerns remain on the roll-out of the stalled hydro power projects, an official of the Central Electricity Authority said. “Uncertainty remains about success even with the proposed bailout package due to various factors. So, we are currently targeting at projects which are in advanced stage say 70-80 per cent complete,” the Central Electricity Authority official told PTI. There had been decline in interest from private investors in the hydro power projects given environmental hurdles, better alternatives like solar power, tariff of which has plummeted drastically to below Rs 3 a unit, sources said. RP Sanjiv Goenka group chairman Sanjiv Goenka had recently said they will not pursue new hydro projects and will review their existing hydro projects highlighting numerous hurdles. There are some 14 stalled hydro power projects in the country involving 10,000 MW with around Rs 26,000 crore in these projects.
Besides offering fiscal benefits, the government was contemplating to offer ‘renewable’ status to all hydro power projects irrespective of their size in the proposed bailout plan. The percentage of hydro power has come down from 45 per cent in 1970 to 14 per cent in 2016 which is too less to have an efficient and balanced grid for operation, the sources added.