The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has been vested with the responsibility of developing Small Hydro Power (SHP) projects up to 25 MW station capacities. The estimated potential for power generation in the country from such plants is about 20,000 MW.
Most of the potential is in Himalayan States as river-based projects and in other States on irrigation canals. The SHP programme is now essentially private investment driven. Projects are normally economically viable and private sector is showing lot of interest in investing in SHP projects. The viability of these projects improves with increase in the project capacity. The Ministry’s aim is that at least 50% of the potential in the country is harnessed in the next 10 years.
In India, hydro projects up to 25 MW station capacities have been categorized as Small Hydro Power (SHP) projects. Small Hydro Power (SHP) Programme is one of the thrust areas of power generation from renewable in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. It has been recognized that small hydropower projects can play a critical role in improving the overall energy scenario of the country and in particular for remote and inaccessible areas. The Ministry is encouraging development of small hydro projects both in the public as well as private sector. Equal attention is being paid to grid-interactive and decentralized projects.
Under the SHP Programme Central Financial Assistance is provided for:
- Resource Assessment and Support for Identification of new sites
- Setting up new SHP Projects in the private / co-operative / Joint sector etc
- Setting up new SHP Projects in the Government sector
- Renovation and Modernisation of existing SHP projects in the Government sector
- Development/upgradation of Water Mills (mechanical/electrical output) and setting up Micro Hydel Projects (upto 100 KW capacity)
- Research & Development and Human Resource Development.