India to add 16,553 MW of hydropower by 2012

India plans to add 78,577 MW of generating capacity by 2012, including 16,553 MW of hydropower, Power Secretary Anil Razdan said April 24.

Of the targeted additional generating capacity, about 53,266 MW would come from coal-fired plants, as the government tries to stem an acute electricity shortage that is predicted for the period. Gas-fired plants are to supply about 3,928 MW, while nuclear power would provide 3,380 MW, and lignite-fired plants 1,450 MW.

India’s National Electricity Policy wants all of the country’s billion-plus people to have access to power by 2012 and to raise the per capita availability of power by nearly 50 percent, a goal that requires another 100,000 MW of capacity by 2012.

India currently produces around 85,000 MW per year yet grapples with peak shortages of about 14 per cent.

“Every year we expect a growth of 8-9 percent in power demand, but if we manage to produce targeted capacity, we will be comfortable,” Razdan said.

India’s dependence on coal, which accounts for nearly 41 percent of its energy needs and has become a focus of global worries about climate change, will remain unchanged due to the booming economy’s expanding demand for power.

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