Jammu and Kashmir is rich in hydropower potential. So far, only 11,567 MW of potential has been identified, of which only 29 per cent has been tapped.
According to official statistics, Jammu and Kashmir has a hydroelectric power capacity of 11,567 MW, while the operational capacity so far is 3,360.0 MW or 29 per cent. The capacity under construction is 3,099.5 MW (26.8 per cent).
In response to a question during the current parliamentary session, the government said that two hydropower projects of 1,390 MW capacity (more than 25 MW) were launched by the Ministry of Power in Jammu and Kashmir in the last three years. This two hydropower are currently underway and likely to be commissioned by 2026.
The 850 MW Ritli and 540 MW Kwara hydropower projects were commissioned in 2021 at an estimated cost of Rs 5,281.94 crore and Rs 4,526.12 crore, respectively, on the Chenab river passing through Kishtwar to tap an additional capacity of 1,390 MW, the government said.
Power purchase agreements for the sale of power for these projects are yet to be signed.
According to the re-evaluation study conducted by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) during 1978-1987, the hydropower potential in the country is estimated at about 1,45,320 MW (more than 25 MW capacity), the government said.
Out of 1,45,320 MW, 42,104.6 MW (29 per cent) has been developed and 15,023.5 MW (10.3 per cent) is under construction. Ladakh is utilizing only 89.0 MW (4.3 per cent) of its identified 2046 MW capacity.
The government said that the major challenges in the development of hydroelectric potential in the country are remote location, unpredictable geology, natural calamities, environment and forest issues, rehabilitation and resettlement issues, law and order issues and inter-state issues.
The administration is looking at ways to improve the hydropower potential and will be announcing new policy decisions soon to ensure better usage of the hydropower facilities and also to set up new projects, the government said. (ANI)