In a bid to boost hydro power sector, the government is planning to formulate a policy to push stalled projects and extend the benefits for renewable sources like wind and solar to hydro projects beyond 25 MW capacity. “We are looking at coming up with a pro-active hydro power policy to push stalled projects and explore the possibility of extending benefits for renewable sources like wind and solar to hydro projects beyond 25 MW,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal told PTI here. He said it is the government’s resolve to come up with this policy after discussing it with the stakeholders. According to a proposal of the Power ministry, projects with capacities of up to 25 MW have been categorised as small hydro power projects and would get the benefits as extended to other renewable energy projects. Hydro power potential in the country has been estimated at about 150 GW, with 50 GW coming from Arunachal Pradesh alone.
The Power ministry had earlier mentioned that the planned hydro power generation capacity addition of 4,371 MW out of the total target of 10,897 MW in the 12th Plan will not be complete. “Our renewable energy capacity could touch 225 GW by 2022 if hydro electricity was added to the renewable category as is being done the world over,” he said. Goyal further said that it is only in India where hydro-projects below 25 MW are considered renewable and those above it are categorised as non-renewable. “I have asked my ministry officials to look into removing this distinction and prepare a report that will be put out for public consultation,” he added. Goyal has been camping in the city for last three days attending the five-day “Switch Expo 2016” which began on October 6.