India has exploited 29 per cent of its hydropower potential against over 80 per cent and 70 per cent developed by the US and European Union respectively, Parliament was informed on Tuesday. As per the Reassessment Study carried out by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) during 1978-1987, the assessed hydropower potential in the country is about 1,45,320 MW (for projects with capacity above 25 MW), Power Minister R K Singh said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Singh said that 42,104.6 MW (29 per cent) out of 1,45,320 MW has been developed and 15,023.5 MW (10.3 per cent) is under construction. As per reports of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), the US has developed more than 80 per cent of its hydropower potential and the EU (European Union) has developed more than 70 per cent of its hydropower potential, he told the House.
The main challenges in the development of hydroelectric potential in the country are remote location, unpredictable geology, natural calamities, environment and forest issues, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) issues, law & order issues and inter-state issues, he stated. In a separate reply, Singh told the House that as on March 14, 2023, the total coal stock at Thermal Power Plants in the country is 33.3 MT (million tonnes) which is only 49 per cent of the Normative Stock Requirement.
The coal stocking norms of the Central Electricity Authority mandate the power plants to maintain coal stock which varies from month to month basis. The stocking norms are 20 to 26 days in non-pithead plants and 12 to 17 days in pithead plants so as to ensure sufficient coal stock at power plants to meet demand, it stated.