The Indian Ministry of New & Renewable Energy is pushing for reclassification of large hydro power projects as renewable energy projects.
The Minister for New & Renewable Energy, Power and Coal, Piyush Goyal, recently announced that he will propose the reclassification of large hydro power projects to the Cabinet of Ministers. Goyal stated that almost all countries in the world classify all forms of hydro power projects as renewable energy projects.
In India, hydro power projects with a maximum capacity of 25 MW only are considered renewable. Over the last few years, growth in the hydro power sector – small as well as large – has been slow compared to solar and wind energy sectors. The government is now looking to significantly increase the investment in small hydro power sector and reduce the long gestation periods for large hydro power projects.
India’s large hydro power capacity currently stands at around 42 GW, which is higher than the 37 GW operational renewable energy capacity. If large hydro power projects are reclassified, the share of renewable energy in India’s installed capacity will increase from 13% to 28%. This re-classification will immediately help India achieve a quarter of its installed renewable energy capacity target of 175 GW by 2022.
If the government does go-ahead with this proposed reclassification, the renewable energy capacity in India would increase to as much as 230 GW by 2022, Goyal stated.