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Energy and Power Generation Handbook: Established and Emerging Technologies

K. R. Rao
K. R. Rao
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ASME Press
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Power generation in India has come a long way from about 1000 MW at the time of independence (August, 1947) to about 160,000 MW as on 31st March 2010 (end of Financial Year). The share of hydro power in this growth, in these over six decades, has also been impressive as it increased from about 500 MW at the time of independence to about 37,000 MW as of March 2010. But the present level of hydro power exploitation is only about 25% of the ultimate installed capacity estimated at 150,000 MW.

The demand of power is increasing rapidly (at the rate of over 8% per annum) so has been the realization that hydro power energy, being a renewable source, be exploited to its full available potential. In this endeavor, of the balance over 113,000 MW of power, i.e., yet to be commissioned, projects with about 14,000 MW are under construction and about 100,000 MW are under various stages of implementation.

The hydro project implementation and ownership remained with the State Governments or with the Power Corporations owned by States or Central Government for about four and a half decades. Due to slow pace of development and also in line with international stress for liberalization of economy, the Government of India reviewed the policy of power development. In 1992, the power sector was opened up allowing private capital participation in its development along and in parallel with continued development under public sector (under the Five-Year Plan system) [1]. With inherent constraints associated with hydro power development, construction activity in the private sectors did not show expected results in the initial period of over one decade. But it is picking up now and at present projects aggregating to about 25,000 MW are allocated to private developers on build, own, operate, and transfer basis (BOOT). Of these, projects with installed capacity of 20,000 MW are under various stages leading to their implementation including survey investigation, DPR preparation and clearances, about 4000 MW are under construction and over 1400 MW are in operation.

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