Round-the-Clock Renewables Impossible Without Hydropower: R K Singh

Hydropower projects with a total capacity of 13 GW coming up in Arunachal Pradesh

November 28, 2023


The Ministry of Power will set up 13 hydroelectric projects in Arunachal Pradesh with a cumulative capacity of 13,000 MW in a bid to augment hydroelectric power capacity in the country.

Emphasizing the importance of hydroelectric projects in achieving energy transition, Union Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy R K Singh said while India has solar and wind capacity, round-the-clock renewable energy is not possible without hydroelectricity.

After reviewing the progress of the 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri hydroelectric project in Arunachal Pradesh, he said the 13 projects will involve an investment of ₹1.4 trillion (~ $1.68 billion).

Construction is also under way for five hydroelectric projects in Jammu & Kashmir, he added.

“Today, our hydropower capacity is 47,000 MW, which is 35% of our available hydropower potential. Developed countries, however, have utilized around 70% – 80% of their available hydropower potential,” the Minister said.

Singh said that India had added power capacity of 190,000 MW in the last nine and a half years. “Our under-construction capacity in renewables is around 70,000 MW, while in thermal, it is 27,000 MW.” This momentum aligns with India’s target of meeting the projected power demand by 2030.

The Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam has achieved dam construction up to an elevation of 210 meters. Progressing over 90%, including key components like the dam and power house, the project is scheduled  to commence electricity generation in FY 2023-24.

At the end of the third quarter in FY 2023-2024, India’s cumulative installed renewable energy capacity, including substantial hydropower projects, has reached 177.1 GW, accounting for 41.8% of the country’s total power capacity, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker.

India has been facing unprecedented power demand, reaching 240 GW on September 1. Coal dominated the energy mix at 70%, hydroelectricity at 14%, and renewables at 9%.