The government has introduced a slew
of measures for the hydropower sector. The measures come at the time when the share
of hydro-power in the total capacity in India has declined from 50.36% in the
1960s to only around 13% in 2018-19.
The major measure has been the
declaration of large Hydropower Projects (LHPs) as Renewable Energy
source. At present, only small hydropower projects (SHPs) i.e. those up to 25MW
are categorized as Renewable Energy.
The government has also allowed LHPs sell
renewable energy certificates under non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation
(RPO) to discoms. Discoms are required to either purchase specified
proportion of renewable energy or buy renewable energy certificates in lieu of
that. Accordingly, the Hydro Purchase Obligation (HPO) as a separate
system will be commissioned within non-solar RPO to cover LHPs. At
present, SHPs are already covered under non solar RPO.
Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO)
is a mechanism by which distribution companies, captive power plants and other
large electricity consumers are obliged to purchase a certain percentage of
power from renewable energy sources.
The government has also approved
funding for enabling infrastructure like roads and bridges of Rs 1.5 crore per
MW for projects up to 200 MW and Rs one crore per MW for projects above 200
Further, LHPs have been allowed back
loading (reducing) of tariff after a) increasing project life to 40 years, b) increasing
debt repayment period to 18 years and c) introducing escalating tariff of 2%.