INDIA is endowed with economically exploitable and viable hydro potential assessed to be about 84,000 MW at 60% load factor (1,48,701 MW installed capacity). In addition, 6780 MW in terms of installed capacity from Small, Mini, and Micro Hydel schemes have been assessed. Also, 56 sites for pumped storage schemes with an aggregate installed capacity of 94,000 MW have been identified. However, only 19.9% of the potential has been harnessed so far.
Advantages of Hydro Power
A renewable source of energy - saves scarce fuel reserves.
Non-polluting and hence environment friendly.
Long life - The first hydro project completed in 1897 is still in operation at Darjeeling is still in operation.
Cost of generation, operation and maintenance is lower than the other sources of energy.
Ability to start and stop quickly and instantaneous load acceptance/rejection makes it suitable to meet peak demand and for enhancing system reliability and stability.
Has higher efficiency (over 90%) compared to thermal (35%) and gas (around 50%).
Cost of generation is free from inflationary effects after the initial installation.
Storage based hydro schemes often provide attendant benefits of irrigation, flood control, drinking water supply, navigation, recreation, tourism, pisciculture etc.
Being located in remote regions leads to development of interior backward areas (education, medical, road communication, telecommunication etc.)
For more information www.cea.nic.in
(Central Electricity Authority).