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Current storage status of important water reservoirs of the country shows bright picture to the renewable energy sector. Despite being small in India’s entire power sector scale, stable capacity and optimum output from reservoirs has become important for 13th plan period that hosts a highly ambitious hydropower objective after the miserable failure in meeting the target during 12th plan.
According to the Ministry of Water Resources report, for the week ending 5th July, live storage available in 91 important reservoirs of the country was 32.847 billion cubic meter (BCM). Contrary to the apprehension, the storage level did not go lower than the figure for the same period last year. Being just 4 per cent lower than the previous 10 years same period average, it was considered as quite favorable. "With the increase in Monsoon rainfall, the situation is likely to further brighten," said Central Water Commission (CWC) officials
CWC monitors live storage status of 91 important reservoirs on weekly basis. These include 37 having installed capacity of more than 60 MW each. Their total live storage capacity of 161.993 BCM is about 63 per cent of total estimated 258 BCM created in the country.
"Proper utilisation of unexploited potential is the key to success in our future power goal. Given the global scenario, we must keep our eyes wide open towards renewable energy resources. Naturally, hydropower potential including power from the reservoirs is always a preferable objective," said NHPC Executive Director D Chattopadhyay.
Despite being world's 7th largest hydropower producer, India’s global rank in its potential exploitation is 5th. That speaks of the vast amount of available unexploited potential lying hidden in its total economically viable potential of 148,700 MW. Out of this, only around 49,000 MW could be exploited so far.
With this in hand, GoI has set an objective of augmenting 13,300 MW installed capacity in the 13th and 21,150 MW in the 14th plan period. The target appears highly ambitious after the country could touch the figure of 4,000 MW only against its target of 10,000 MW of additional hydropower installed capacity during 12th plan period.
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