Generating Clean Electricity from Hydropower in India
The percentage of India’s population with access to electricity has been rising steadily over the past few decades. In 1994, less than 50% of the population had access to electricity, but in 2019 this figure had increased to 97.815%. While access to electricity is almost universal across India, demand for electricity has more than doubled since 2000, largely due to India’s rapidly growing population.
Coal continues to be India’s primary source of electricity, and the contribution of renewables to India’s energy mix has grown only slightly in the last 20 years, from 1% to 3%. India’s reliance on coal is worrying, and contributes greatly to India’s position as the third biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, after China and the USA.
Increasing India’s capacity to meet energy demands using renewable sources is vital for keeping global warming under 1.5℃. In 2019, 11.9GW of renewable energy capacity was added to India’s energy supply, but so was 10.7GW of coal-powered energy generation.
This small hydropower project is located in the lesser Himalayas, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Water in the form of snow-melt and rain, as well as water from nearby springs, feed the catchment area. This is a Run-of-River scheme, with 2 turbines placed in the river that are rotated by the flowing river water. The river in question, Allain Nala, actually powers a separate, bigger hydropower project further upstream, and the tail race water (the water that comes out of that bigger power plant) is what powers this hydropower project.
2 turbines, each producing 2.4MW of energy will be rotated by the running water, generating 20,967MWh of electricity per year. The project will bring both skilled and unskilled jobs to the local area too, employing 13 local people and training 1 more.
This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by replacing electricity in the grid that would have been produced by burning fossil fuels. Every year, 17,614 tCO2e will be prevented from being emitted by this hydropower plant.
This project is verified by the Gold Standard. You can view it on the Gold Standard registry here.