Hydropower Performance

India’s hydro generation AGAIN below 10% in 2018-19

In 2018-19, for the third year in succession, power generation from India’s large hydropower projects was below 10% of total electricity generation in India. In 2016-17, for the first time in independent India’s history, power generation from large hydropower projects in India fell below 10% of total electricity generation. This calculation is based on actual generation (measured as Million or Billion Units[i]) and not installed capacity (measured in Mega Watts). Continue reading “India’s hydro generation AGAIN below 10% in 2018-19”

Hydropower Performance

Diminishing Returns from Large Hydropower projects: Opportunity for a pause

As per the latest power generation figures released by the Central Electricity Authority,[1] the hydropower generation during the current Financial Year 2016-17 is likely to be lower than the previous year’s generation even though the installed capacity has gone up. Average generation per MW of hydro capacity in India in 2016-17 is likely to be about 30% less power than what our average generation was in 1994-95. More worryingly, the hydropower generated per MW installed capacity continues its downward slide, the downward slide has been going on for now over two decades. Continue reading “Diminishing Returns from Large Hydropower projects: Opportunity for a pause”

Beas · Hydropower Performance · Sutlej

Insider view: BBMB is inefficient, slow, heavy, bureaucratic; Does not work to preserve its massive resources

Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB, http://bbmb.gov.in/english/index.asp) is the manager of India’s celebrated icons: Temples of Modern India as our first Prime Minister called it. In a rare occasion, when we get a candid account of insider’s view of this organisation, it is worth taking note of it.

bhakra1

 Bhakhra Dam: Photo from BBMB 

BBMB, created on Oct 1, 1967, has current annual budget of massive Rs 1000 crores and manages the Bhakra Nangal Project, the Beas Project I (Pandoh dam, the Beas Sutlej Link and the Dehar Power House) and the Beas Project II (Beas Dam and Pong power houses). With close to 3000 MW of installed capacity it generates about 12.5 billion units of power annually.

Mr Satish Loomba, who served as Financial Advisor to BBMB between 1996 and 2001 has just provided an interesting view about the functioning of BBMB in his article Need to corporatise BBMB in The Tribune of January 23, 2014: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140123/edit.htm#6. While the author, as the title suggests, is advocating a corporate restructuring of BBMB, what he has said in the process provides a valuable insights from an insider. Here are some snippets:

Þ    “This organisation, which has become heavy, slow and bureaucratic…”

Þ    “However, despite a façade of running smoothly, the BBMB, from the organizational standpoint, suffers from several infirmities, limitations and internal contradictions.”

Þ    “At the core of the inadequacies in the BBMB are the… systems which do not promote efficiency, cost control and long term health of its vast assets… It has no concern with the value of its output…”

Þ    “… capital of the BBMB is not being preserved in accordance with accepted principles…” In fact in recent years, the illegal dumping of humungous quantities of muck (even a 100 MW project creates several million meter cube of muck) by the numerous major, medium and small hydropower projects in upstream Sutlej (see: https://sandrp.in/basin_maps/Hydro_Electric_Projects_on_Sutlej_River_in%20HP.pdf) and Beas (see: https://sandrp.in/basin_maps/Hydropower_Projects_in_Beas_Basin.pdf) basins is  leading to accelerated silting up of the Bhakra, Pong and Pandoh reservoirs, but no one, not even BBMB has shown the slightest concern.

Þ    “For the ageing irrigation wing assets, which are colossal and could be in sudden need of massive recapitalization…”

Þ    “… there is no account which summarises its results for a specific time period…”

This is a very serious indictment, not only of BBMB but also the way the “icons” of India are being managed by an organisation controlled by the Union Ministry of Power. Are these remediable infirmities or are these the implications of the kind and size of structures that BBMB manages? The author of the above article does not even pose this question, but is a very relevant one.

Declining Hydropower generation As per our analysis of hydropower generation from the three BBMB projects in Himachal Pradesh, namely Bhakra (1325 MW), Dehar (990 MW) and Pong (396 MW), with total installed capacity of 2711 MW, the generation per MW installed capacity has shown hugely declining trend with trend line declining by 18-20% in less than three decades. We also have graphs of individual BBMB hydropower projects that show similar trend line. This is a massive decline and in any responsible governance, questions would be asked as to why this is happening, but here, there are no questions.

bhakra2

Unravelling Bhakra In a comprehensive critique Unravelling Bhakra, (see: http://www.manthan-india.org/spip.php?rubrique1, available in both English and Hindi), author Shripad Dharmadhikary has shown that it is a myth to assume that Bhakra dams were the only or major reasons behind India’s food security, green revolution or irrigation in North West India. He has shown with facts and figures that are yet to be proven wrong that the contribution of Bhakra dams was limited.

unravellingBhakara

Displaced people still awaiting justice Over five decades after commissioning of the Bhakra project, the people displaced by this most celebrated of Indian dams are still awaiting justice, as is clear from this latest news report (http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140120/haryana.htm#10) in January 2014. This has been highlighted by many in the past including Govt of India’s Water Resources Minister in his autobiography, by SANDRP in 2002, by Shripad Dharmadhikary in above  mentioned book and continuous media coverage. This also shows the callous attitude of BBMB and concerned state and central governments.

Ad hoc, callous reservoir operation It is no secret that even this irrigation system is in bad and declining health. This is due to many reasons, including due to lack of maintenance and participatory governance. Several times it has been pointed out how unaccountable and inefficient has been the operation of the Bhakra reservoirs. Two recent occasions when SANDRP pointed this out include the following:

Þ       July 2012: Precarious situation of Bhakra dams: BBMB says emergency measures are imminent: Callous, ad-hoc reservoir operation again? Could this situation have been avoided? https://sandrp.in/dams/PR_Why_precarious_water_situation_at_Bhakra_dams_was_avoidable_July_2012.pdf

Þ    Sept 2010: Bhakra reservoir is being operated in casual, adhoc manner? Need for clearly defined norms of accountability in reservoir operations https://sandrp.in/dams/Bhakra_and_Need_for_accountability_in_Reservoir_Operations_Sept_19_2010.pdf

Þ    With general elections approaching in coming April May 2014, we have to wait and see if the Bhakra reservoirs will again be operated in an ad hoc manner like it happened before previous two national elections.

We hope right lessons will be learnt from this insider’s view of the alarmingly inadequate functioning of the BBMB and efforts will be made to make its functioning more participatory, transparent and accountable.

Himanshu Thakkar (ht.sandrp@gmail.com)

Hydropower Performance · Sutlej

Hydropower Generation Performance in Sutlej River Basin

The Sutlej River Basin is the major part of Indus River Basin. It is the easternmost tributary of the Indus River. It rises near the Darma Pass near Mansarovar Lake, enters the Zarkar range and flows through Tibet before entering India. It cuts through the Great Himalayan range and the outer Himalayas and enters the plains at Roper. It receives the Beas River at Harike at Punjab and forms the boundary between India and Pakistan for nearly 120 km. It finally enters Pakistan near Sulemanki.

The project wise generation data of large hydro (above 25 MW) with installed capacity of the basin in the latest year 2012-13 is follows.

SN Projects

State

Inst Capacity  (MW)

Generation (MU)

MU/MW

1 Sanjay Bhabha

Himachal Pradesh

120

365

3.04

2 Baspa-II

Himachal Pradesh

300

1240

4.13

3 Nathpa Jhakri

Himachal Pradesh

1500

6778

4.52

4 Bhakra

Himachal Pradesh

1325

4707

3.55

5 Ganguwal

Punjab

77.65

593

7.64

6 Kotla

Punjab

77.65

600

7.73

7 AP Sahib

Punjab

134

639

4.77

8 Karchham Wangtoo*

Himachal Pradesh

1000

4057

4.6

  Total

4534.3

18979

4.19

* The Generation figure of Karchham Wangtoo is available for one year only as it commissioned in the year 2011.

 Sutlej_Performance

  • The above graph shows the trend line of power generation of large Hydropower projects for last 28 years in the Sutlej basin. The trend-line shows diminishing generation from existing hydro power projects of Sutlej River Basin.
  • It shows that the per MW generation in 2012-13 (4.19) has dropped by a huge 31.09% from the highest per MW generation (6.08) achieved in the year 1998-99.
  • All generation figures have been taken from official data of Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
KarchamWangtoo HEP
1000 MW KarchamWangtoo HEP
Muck dumped from Karcham Wangtoo project into the Sutlej photo from :http://adrianomarzi.photoshelter.com/
Muck dumped from Karcham Wangtoo project into the Sutlej photo from :http://adrianomarzi.photoshelter.com/

 

List of other projects (up to 25 MW) under operation (for which latest generation figures not available):

SN Project

Ins Cap (MW)

State

1 Rukti

1.50

Himachal Pradesh
2 Chaba

1.75

Himachal Pradesh
3 Rongtong

2.00

Himachal Pradesh
4 Nogli

2.50

Himachal Pradesh
5 Titang

0.90

Himachal Pradesh
6 Lingti

0.40

Himachal Pradesh
11 Ghanvi

22.50

Himachal Pradesh
 

Total

31.55

 

Source: http://www.hpseb.com/hydro_potential.htm

List of proposed and under construction projects in the basin:

  Project

Ins Cap (MW)

State

Status

1 Kol Dam

800

Himachal Pradesh Under Construction
2 Rampur

412

Himachal Pradesh Under Construction
3 Kashang-I

165

Himachal Pradesh Under Construction
4 Kasang-IV

48

Himachal Pradesh Under Construction
5 Shorang

100

Himachal Pradesh Under Construction
6 Raura

8

Himachal Pradesh Under Construction
7 Ghanvi-II

10

Himachal Pradesh Under Construction
8 Bhaba Aug.PH

4.5

Himachal Pradesh Under Construction
9 Chango-Yangthang HEP

180

Himachal Pradesh EAC TOR Approved
10 Lara Sumta

104

Himachal Pradesh EAC TOR Approved
11 Luhri HEP

775

Himachal Pradesh EAC & FAC  Recommended
12 Shongtong-Karcham HEP

402

Himachal Pradesh EAC& FAC Recommended, (Under stay order of HC)
13 Sumta Kathang

130

Himachal Pradesh EAC TOR Approved
14 Tidong -I

100

Himachal Pradesh EAC Recommended
15 Tidong -II

60

Himachal Pradesh EAC Under consideration
16 Yangthang – Khab HEP

261

Himachal Pradesh EAC TOR Approved
17 Kashang -Stage II & III HEP

130

Himachal Pradesh FAC Recommended
18 Jangi Thopan

480

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
19 Khab-I

450

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
20 Khab-II

186

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
21 Kuling Lara

40

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
22 Kut

24

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
23 Mane Nadang

70

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
24 Poo Spiloo

300

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
25 Ropa

60

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
26 Thopan Powari

480

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
27 Bahairari

5.5

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
28 Lara

60

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
29 Baspa

210

Himachal Pradesh Proposed
  Total

6055

EAC: Expert Appraisal Committee of MoEF; FAC: Forest Advisory Committee of MoEF

Source: http://www.hpseb.com/hydro_potential.htm; http://envfor.nic.in

Underground Tunnel at Nathpa Jhakri Project
Underground Tunnel at Nathpa Jhakri Project
1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri Project
1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri Project

 

 Map of Hydroelectric Projects in Sutlej River Basin available at:

https://sandrp.in/basin_maps/Hydropower_Projects_in_%20Sutlej_River_Basin.pdf

South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People (www.sandrp.in)                                           July 2013

ht.sandrp@gmail.com

Hydropower · Hydropower Performance · Indus

HydroPower Performance in Indus Basin

Indus river rises in the southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and then enters Pakistan via the Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan), flowing through the North in a southerly direction along the entire length of Pakistan, to merge into the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi in Sindh.

The Sub-basin wise generation data of large hydro with installed capacity of the basin in the latest year 2012-13.

Projects

Inst Capacity  (MW)

Generation (MU)

MU/MW

Sutlej

4534.3

18979

4.19

Beas

2267

9125

4.03

Ravi

2059

7383

3.59

Chenab

1530

8159

5.33

Jhelum

690

3828

5.55

Total

11080.3

47474

4.28

indus

  • The above graph shows the trend line of power generation of Big Hydropower projects for last 28 years in the basin, the trend-line shows diminishing generation from existing hydro power projects of Indus River Basin.
  • It shows that the per MW generation in 2012-13 (4.28) has dropped by a huge 17.69% from the highest per MW generation (5.2) achieved in the year 1988-89.
  • All generation figures have been taken from official data of Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

List of other projects (up to 25 MW) under operation (for which latest generation figures not available):

SN Project

Ins Cap (MW)

State

In main basin

 

1 Iqbal

3.75

Jammu & Kashmir
2 Hunder

0.40

Jammu & Kashmir
3 Sumoor

0.10

Jammu & Kashmir
4 Igo-Mercellong

3

Jammu & Kashmir
5 Haftal

1

Jammu & Kashmir
6 Marpachoo

0.75

Jammu & Kashmir
7 Bazgo

0.30

Jammu & Kashmir
8 Stakna

4

Jammu & Kashmir
Total

13.30

In Sub Basins
1 Sutlej

31.55

Himachal Pradesh
2 Beas

61.8

Himachal Pradesh
3 Ravi

110.6

HP, J&K and Punjab
4 Chenab

33.8

Jammu & Kashmir
5 Jhelum

51.6

Jammu & Kashmir
 

Grand Total

302.65

 

Source: http://www.hpseb.com/hydro_potential.htm

http://jkspdc.nic.in/exist.htm

List of proposed and under construction projects in the basin:

  Project

Ins Cap (MW)

State

Status

In Main Basin

 

1 Rongdo

9

Proposed IPP Project
2 Bairaas

9

Proposed IPP Project
3 Tamasha

9

Proposed IPP Project
Total

27

In Sub Basins
1 Sutlej

6055

Himachal Pradesh
2 Beas

3270.1

Himachal Pradesh
3 Ravi

1292

HP, J&K
4 Chenab

8225

HP, J&K
5 Jhelum

864.55

Jammu & Kashmir
Grand Total

19733.65

Source: http://jkspdc.nic.in/up.htm

http://www.hpseb.com/hydro_potential.htm

http://envfor.nic.in

Map of Hydroelectric Projects in Indus River Basin available at:

https://sandrp.in/basin_maps/Hydropower_Projects_in_Indus_Basin.pdf

South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People (www.sandrp.in)                                           July 2013

ht.sandrp@gmail.com