Parliament was briefed on the hydro resources by the Consultative Committee of the Members of Parliament on Power as part of discussions on capacity addition for the 11th Plan.

At the beginning of this year, the Power Minister had noted that the installed capacity of hydro was just over 33,000 MW but good progress was being made against the 50,000MW initiative with feasibility studies completed on 162 projects.

Under the information in the 11th Plan, it was noted that by the end of March this year the installed capacity in hydro was 34,654MW – consisting of 25,786MW (state), 7562MW (central) and 1306MW (private).

Total capacity addition in hydro under the 11th Plan, however, was 16,553MW – consisting of 9685MW (central), 3605MW (state) and 3263MW (private). Projects under construction in the hydro sector totalled 14,431MW – consisting of 8565MW (central), 3075MW (state) and 2791MW (private).

In total, the 11th Plan calls for 78,000MW of power capacity from all sources, comprising 40,000MW in the central sector, 28,000MW in the state sector and 10,000MW by private development. The 10th Plan saw less capacity installed than proposed with 21,180MW being commissioned and this has resulted in an enhanced programme for the 11th Plan by 2012.

Of the total 78GW required under the 11th Plan, so far 1,800MW has been commissioned and 51,000MW of capacity is under construction. Projects to meet the balance were expected to be initiated before the end of this year, the Power Minister said.

While India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corp (NHPC) has been the biggest player in hydro development, analysts were recently briefed by National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) that it was diversifying its generation portfolio and aims to have almost 9GW of installed hydro capacity by 2017. It has signed a deal with the state of Arunachal Pradesh to build the 4,000MW Etalin scheme, and has others in development.