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An overview of small hydro power development in India

Department of Electrical Engineering, North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology, Nirjuli, Arunachal Pradesh, India, 791109

India is a developing nation with 1.35 billion populations living in varied strata of living standards. Therefore, the energy demand is constantly increasing in an effort to accelerate industrial activities and boost the economy. The country mostly meets its electricity demand from fossil fuel. It has large generation capacity but in some remote and rural areas only 53% of the villages get electric supply for less than 12 hours a day. This is because of hilly and mountainous terrains especially in the north and north-eastern regions of the country and absence of utility grid owing to economic reasons. It is estimated that about 15% of country’s population do not have access to electricity. With huge hydro potential in the country, especially in the Himalayan States, hydropower generation may be emphasized and pressed in to augment ever increasing energy demand. The emphasis should be on small hydropower (SHP) as construction of large hydropower involves huge capital cost and they are associated with various techno-economic and social issues. The article aims to provide important information for appropriate policy making in developing small hydropower in India.
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