India launches four hydropower projects
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the start of four hydropower projects on 27th December, the Indian Express newspaper reported. These include the Renukaji dam and the Luhri, Dhaulasidh and Sawra-Kuddu hydropower stations with a capacity of 210 MW, 66 MW and 111 MW respectively.

    The agreement to construct the Renukaji dam was signed in 2019 by the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

    The project has been conceived as a storage facility on the Giri River in Himachal Pradesh state in northern India, involving construction of a reservoir and dam with a height of 148 metres able to supply 23 billion cu.m. of water to Delhi and adjacent regions.

    The dam will be equipped with generators with a capacity of 40 MW. Overseeing the project, estimated to cost a little more than $900 million, will be the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd. (HPPCL).

    The Luhri, Dhaulasidh and Sawra-Kuddu power stations will also be located in Himachal Pradesh state – their construction is estimated to cost $1.5 billion. Bringing the hydropower stations on stream will help decarbonise India’s economy – the launch of Kuhri will result in a reduction of CO2 emissions of 610,000 tonnes.

    India has the second largest capacity in Asia of hydropower — 50.7 GW, behind only China (370.2 GW) and ahead of Japan (50 GW), according to figures from the International Agency for Renewable Energy (IRENA). The share of hydro in total power generation in 2020 stood at 10 % – the share of other renewable sources was 10 %, with coal standing at 72 %, gas-fired power at 5 % and nuclear power at 3 %, according to figures from BP.

    Prime Minister Modi, speaking at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, said India would achieve carbon-neutral status by 2070. Along with construction of hydropower stations, expanded use of natural gas, including in power generation, will also play an important role in the decarbonisation process.

    India in 2020 became Asia’s fourth largest consumer of liquefied natural gas (after Japan, China and South Korea). In the period from 2010 to 2020, the country more than tripled its imports (from 11.5 billion cu.m. to 35.8 billion cu.m., according to BP figures).

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