Annual hydropower generation is running out of steam

Huge expansions are planned in the hydropower sector to meet India’s soaring energy demand. However, energy studies project these investments in increasing capacity have led to diminishing returns over the past 11 years

India currently suffers from a huge power-supply deficit. Mammoth expansions have been planned across power segments—thermal, hydro, solar and wind—to plug this supply gap. However, data from an energy group shows that returns from huge hydropower projects have been coming down over the past 11 years.

According to an analysis made by the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People (SANDRP), the power energy generated from large hydropower projects has been falling continuously over the past 11 years. The fall from 1994-95 to 2009-10 is a huge 29.47%. The generation from hydropower has fallen from a peak 3.97 million units (MU) for the period 1994-95 to 2.8 MU in 2009-10. These figures are generation in MU per MW installed capacity. SANDRP is an informal network of organisations and individuals working on issues related with the water sector.

On the contrary, the installed capacity has increased from about 18,000 megawatts (MW) in 1989-90 to around 36,863.40MW in 2009-10. The research group states that installed capacity of large hydropower projects has increased at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.35% during 1995-2005, which is higher than all other power sub-sectors.

Commenting on the decline in hydropower generation, joint secretary, ministry of power, Sudhir Kumar, stated, “Hydropower generation is not declining, but in terms of percentage of total generation (all segments put together), it is going down.”

In addition, the study further states that 89% of the hydropower projects generate energy at below-design capacity. Around 50% of the under-performing projects are said to be generating power at below 50% of design capacity.

The group states that the following factors are responsible for poor hydropower generation: unviable projects, over-development, optimistic assumptions, siltation, inadequate renovation & modernisation and run-of-the-river projects.



Shadi Katyal

7 years ago

What the Minister and you are telling us that Right Hand doesnot know what left is doing. Is this not our major problem of all planning.
If the Ministers make such statements to fool the people how can a nation progress.
Why have the writer not mentioned thed agitation and arousal of people by groups like Narbada Bachao and other NGO who donot wish India to develop in name of poor people while keeping tyhem in poverty and hold on tham


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Direct tax mop-up to be close to revised target

The government had set a direct tax collection target of Rs3.70 lakh crore in the Budget for 2009-10, which was later revised upwards to Rs3.87 lakh crore

The government today informed the Rajya Sabha that direct tax collection during the just concluded fiscal has exceed the budget estimate and will be very close to the revised estimate of Rs3.87 lakh crore, reports PTI.

“Direct tax collection has already exceeded the budget target and will be reaching near the revised estimate when the final figures are compiled,” minister of state for finance SS Palanimanickam said in a written reply.

The government had set the direct tax collection target of Rs3.70 lakh crore in the Budget for 2009-10, which was later revised upwards to Rs3.87 lakh crore.

As per the provisional figures, the minister said, the actual collection of direct taxes during the year was Rs3.75 lakh crore. This would be revised upwards once the final figures are received, he added.

The minister further said that while corporate tax collection at Rs2.43 lakh crore was short of the Budget estimate of Rs2.56 lakh crore, the buoyancy was witnessed in case of other taxes which include income-tax and the securities transaction tax.

Collection of income-tax, securities transaction tax etc, during 2009-10 at Rs1.31 lakh crore was more than the Budget estimate of Rs1.12 lakh crore.


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