Recently,Central government had approved a new hydroelectric policy aimed at boosting the sector. According to the new policy, large hydro projects will also be designated as renewable energy projects.
- India is endowed with large hydropower potential of 1,45,320 MW. However, only about 45,400 MW has been utilized so far. Further, Only about 10,000 MW of hydropower has been added in the last 10 years. Hence, in order to give a push to the generation of hydropower in India.
- This decision will help in meeting the targets set for the renewable energy sector.India is aiming 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.
- This policy has also changed the renewable energy mix as well.Wind energy which contributed nearly 50% of all renewable energy capacity will now make up only 29.3%.Similarly, solar energy’s share will fall from 34.68% to 21.61%.However,Hydro sector will see its share grow from just over 6% to over 41%.
Decision of the CCEA:
- Prior to the policy, only small hydro projects of a capacity of less than 25 MW were treated as renewable energy. Large hydro projects were treated as a separate source of energy.
- The tag allows these to qualify as part of the framework for non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of the states.
- With this distinction, large hydro projects will be included as a separate category under the non-solar renewable purchase obligation policy. power purchasers will have to source a portion of electricity from large hydro projects.
Renewable purchase obligation policy:
- This is a mechanism by which the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions are obliged to purchase a certain percentage of power from renewable energy sources. RPO is being implemented throughout the country to create demand for renewable energy.
- There are two types of RPO- Solar RPO and Non-Solar RPO which includes wind, biomass, hydropower.