The panel is a group of acknowledged experts from the US hydro power industry, US government agencies, the Indian hydro power industry and the Indian central and state government agencies that can serve as a resource and a network to solve problems as they arise.

The panel is being sponsored by USHCID with support from US government agencies and USHCID’s cooperating partners in India. Under the supervision of USHCID’s India Programme Director, Dr. V. Bakthavatsalam, with programme support from a consulting partner organisation in India, the International Institute for Energy Conservation, the panel will be convened and consulted periodically to address measures necessary to encourage hydro power development and investment.

The first meeting of the panel will be held on 15 November 2006, at the Taj Ambassador Hotel in New Delhi, India. The panel will focus on policy issues, finance mechanisms, and technical barriers to achieving the significant addition of hydro power capacity identified by the Government of India as necessary to meet growing energy demand and a critical need for peaking power. It is anticipated that the panel’s recommendations will constructively inform the debate on issues of concern at the national and state level in both the public and private sectors.

In 2004, the Prime Minister of India announced a 50,000MW hydro power initiative. Currently only 21% of this capacity has been harvested, with a shortage of 10,000MW in the country. Due to market barriers in place, there is minimal investment flow in India and therefore hydro power development activity is lagging. USHCID is working to resolve market barriers with member companies who are actively developing projects in India.