Uncertainty preventing investments in hydel projects: Goyal

Uncertainty preventing investments in hydel projectsNEW DELHI: Uncertainties in the hydro power sector are keeping investors away from hydel projects although the country has huge potential, Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal told Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Many hydel power projects are facing hurdles, resulting in long delays and stoppage of works.

“There is uncertainty over hydro power projects…

Investors are not ready to make investments,” said Goyal, who is also in charge of Coal and New and Renewable Energy Ministries.

Even though existing hydel projects are generating electricity at cheaper rates, he said many new ones are stuck and cited the examples of Subansiri (Assam) and Teesta (Sikkim) plants, among others.

“Different projects are stuck due to different reasons,” he said and cited politics, environmental issues and court rulings being among the various reasons.

He assured that government would make efforts to start hydel projects once the “uncertainty” is over.

At the end of January, installed hydro power generation capacity in the country stood at nearly 41,000 MW.

Noting that the House needs to have a discussion on hydel projects in the country, Goyal said many regions including North East and Uttarakhand have significant hydro potential.

To a query on Green Energy Corridor project, Goyal said synchronization of renewable power under this program is yet to start as implementation is at different stages.

The project, being done with soft loan assistance from German lender KfW, would cover Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and J&K.

“Green Energy Corridor project will help in grid stability by way of evacuating renewable power from the generation points to load centers with creation of additional and adequate transmission capacity,” the Minister said.

KfW would provide a confessional loan of 1 billion Euros, over the next six years, to augment and strengthen power transmission infrastructure for evacuating renewable energy.

Besides, Germany’s GIZ has agreed to provide technical assistance of 2 million euros for forecasting, balancing, market design and network management related to grid integration of renewable power.

The Minister also appreciated the Tamil Nadu government and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, whom he addressed as ‘Amma’, for giving thrust to renewable energy in the state. -PTI

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