1 Feb 2002 – The Indian government has set a long-term goal of generating 40 per cent of the country’s electricity from hydropower in order to take full advantage of the untapped potential that exists.

In a statement, the Central Electricity Authority said that India is ranked fifth in the world in terms of potential for hydropower and has only tapped 17 per cent of the possible output – which currently accounts for less than 25 per cent of electricity production.

The Indian government wants to raise hydropower capacity by 31 700 MW during the course of the next two Five Year plans. During the forthcoming 10th and 11th plans, the paper envisaged a capacity addition of 10 400 MW and 21 300 MW respectively.

The government wish to achieve a thermal-hydro mix in the ratio 60:40 but this will take many years considering that even by adding the proposed 31 700 MW over the next ten years, the share of hydro would only stand at 27 per cent.

“The greater emphasis on hydropower development for grid stability and system reliability is therefore an inevitable fall out and the government is determined to ensure maximisation of hydro development and extend full support towards this end,” the release added.