Hydro potential in J&K moving ahead: R K Singh

TNN Bureau. Updated: 11/29/2023 2:17:23 AM Front Page

'5 projects under construction, lot of investment is coming in'

Jammu: Union Power Minister R K Singh said on Tuesday said that hydro potential in Jammu & Kashmir too is moving ahead and a lot of investment is coming in.
He added that five hydel projects are under construction in Jammu & Kashmir. "Hence, our hydro potential in Jammu & Kashmir too is moving ahead and a lot of investment is coming in," Singh said during his visit the 2,000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project located in Arunachal Pradesh / Assam on Monday, a power ministry statement said.
Expressing satisfaction with the review of the project, the minister said that the importance of hydel projects has increased since round-the-clock renewable energy is not possible without hydropower.
"I went into all the details and I believe that by and large, the project is progressing as it should. The importance of hydro projects has increased since we need to make energy transition, reduce emissions and move to renewables. While we have solar and wind too among renewables, round-the-clock renewable energy is not possible without hydro. Our hydro capacity is increasing," Singh said.
The minister spoke of the efforts being taken to better tap into the available hydropower capacity of the country.
"Today, our hydropower capacity is 47,000 MW, which is 35% of our available hydropower potential. Developed countries however have utilised around 70% - 80% of their available hydro potential," he said.
"Our power demand grew by 20% in August, September and October 2023, relative to the previous year. Our demand will keep growing at this rate, since according to NITI Aayog, our economy will keep growing at 7.5% for next two decades. The peak demand in 2013 was around 1.35 lakh MW, while today it is around 2.31 lakh MW," he stated.
Our power demand will double by 2030; our total consumption today is 1,600 billion units, which will become around 3,000 billion units, he pointed out.
However, even now, power consumption is low compared to developed countries; Europe's per capita power consumption is around 3 times that of ours today, he stated.
Our challenge hence is to add power capacity as fast as the growth in our power demand, he stressed.
Singh explained that India is growing fast and adding power capacity to address the challenge of growing power demand.
Earlier, we were a power deficit nation, but the government has added power capacity of 1.9 lakh MW in the last nine and a half years, he said adding that now, we have sufficient power and we are also exporting to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal.
Our under-construction capacity in renewables is around 70,000 MW, while in thermal, it is 27,000 MW, he added.
However, he stated that the country is going to add another 53,000 MW to under-construction thermal capacity to meet the power demand of 2030.
"By and large, whichever state asks us for power, we are providing and will continue to provide them," added the minister.

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