Daily Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013 – Topic: “Tapping Energy From Small Hydro Power Projects”

Daily Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013

Chapter: Science & Technology

Topic: Tapping Energy From Small Hydro
Power Projects

Q. What is the potential and present status of SHP in India?

Ans. Small Hydro Power (SHP)
in India has been standardized up to the level of 25MW. India has an estimated
SHP potential of about 15,000MW of which only 20% has been tapped.

It is proposed to install 2000MW additional power generation
capacity from SHP in the Twelfth Five Year Plan.

The energy is converted into electricity by using a turbine
coupled to a generator. The hydro power potential of a site is dependent on the
discharge and head of water. These projects can be set up on rivers, canals or
at dams.

Q. In how many categories SHP can be classified?

Ans. They are classified
as Micro hydro (up to 100kW), Mini hydro (101-2000kW i.e. 2MW) and Small hydro
(above 2MW up to 25MW). SHP is economical and at the same time is compatible
with use of water for other purposes like drinking, irrigation etc. It can also
provide electricity in a decentralized manner. It gives the flexibility of
installation and operation in a distributed mode.

The above Contents are the part of our on going programme of Special Current
Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013. Which consist:

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    India Year Book & Economic Survey, Government Plans Programme &
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Q. What are the main benefits of SHP?


  • The power generation is environmentally friendly because
    it causes negligible or no submergence; minimal deforestation and hence
    reduced impact on flora, fauna and biodiversity.

  • The standard indigenous technologies for the SHP are
    available and hence only minor adaptation to specific site conditions is
    required. While SHP projects on rivers involve higher costs of civil works
    than those on canals, the cost of equipments for canal based projects is
    relatively higher. SHP projects generally cost between Rs.7-8.5 crore per
    MW. SHP projects generally have a pay- back period of 5-7 years depending
    upon the capacity utilization factor.

Q. What is the concept of Water Mills and what its presence
in India?

Ans. Water mills also
known as gharats in the northern part of the country are traditionally used for
mechanical energy. The Himalayan region alone is the house for about 100,000
water mills, used for mechanical applications like grain grinding and oil
extraction. Water mills have, generally, low conversion efficiency and hence
improved water mills have been developed for mechanical applications as well as
electricity generation.

The state of Uttarakhand has the distinction of already
setting up over 500 such water mills in its remote and isolated areas. While
about 3342 MW capacity has been installed in the small hydro power sector, 2025
water mills/micro hydel projects were also functional at the end of February,

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