In India, hydropower has huge potential, ranks fifth in that terms but could generate only 21 % of total power generation. However, most of them are situated in fragile eco system, tapping this potential remains the great challenge.
In Gangetic plains, tapping them will mean land acquisition issues and rehabilitation of villages, while in Himalayan and North Eastern range it is deforestation and disturbing tribal rights. For the hydel projects in southern India, it is the seasonal flow hampers hydel projects. Besides, recent Uttarakhand floods have also demonstrated the danger in haphazard hydel projects.
To realize its potential, there should be clarity and swifter clearance and vigilant monitoring mechanism will go a long way in tapping the potential.
Hydro Vortex Power Generator (HVPG)is being developed as an alternative form of clean energy. River steams and ocean currents can be harness by this device , which acts on the principle of vortex-induced vibration of bluff bodies. A model of the device was demonstrated at SCMS School of Engineering and Technology (SSET), Karukutty which has developed 5 W of power from the irrigation canal running in front of its college. HVPG has very high energy density as compared to any other renewable power production systems like wind farms and tidal power.
Odisha government is planning to invest Rs. 8870 million to renovate hydel projects in the state. The state government has 6 hydel projects with a total capacity of 2000+ MW, however it could generate around 550 MW as of now due to old age of projects. It will invest Rs. 1580 million to renovate Hirakud power station (2 x 37.5 MW) and optimization will bring additional 11 MW of power. It will also renovate Chipilima 34 MW hydel power station with an investment of Rs. 656 million and Balimela hydel project with an investment of Rs. 6640 million. These projects are likely to be completed in 5 years time.