The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has cancelled the proposals of 53 small hydro power (SHP) projects across the country, which sought financial assistance from the central government. These projects, with a cumulative capacity of around 440 MW, would not receive any financial support from the government because they had not submitted any progress report after applying for central financial assistance (CFA) before 2014.
“We want to send across the message to the developer community that submission of project reports cannot be taken lightly,” a senior MNRE official aware of the development told FE. “Last year MNRE had asked renewable energy developers to submit quarterly progress report but none of them have complied,” the official added.
As many as 134 small hydro developers had applied for CFA before 2014. The government provides 30% of actual cost—restricted within an upper ceiling—as financial support to small hydro developers. Hydro projects up to 25 MW station capacities are categorised under SHP.
Most of its potential is in the Himalayan states as river-based projects and in other states on irrigation canals. The programme is essentially driven by private investment. The current installed hydro capacity is 4,539 MW. The identified potential for power generation from small hydro projects across the country is around 21,135 MW.
A parliamentary committee on energy, in March 2018, had recommended that MNRE should formulate new scheme for implementation of SHP and critically review its performance to ensure that the factors which hindered the growth of the sector are addressed.