Hydro Power

Topics: Hydroelectricity, Electricity generation, Nuclear power Pages: 14 (3834 words) Published: February 24, 2012
* WHICH TYPE OF HYDROELECTRIC SCHEME WOULD BE MOST USEFUL AND DESIRABLE FOR INDIA AND WHY? Run of the river with pondage would be the best suited option in India because * Operational, running and maintenance costs are low compared to other schemes of hydroelectricity. * It is a clean, pollution free and eco-friendly source of energy. * It is the only source of electricity generation in hilly and remote, inaccessible areas where generation from other sources or transmission of power over long distances would not be feasible. Cost of building the plant and return on investment is fast compared to large hydro and hence would attract many private investors to invest. * Rehabilitation and resettlement which is the major concern in a democratic country like India and hence this scheme is the most useful. * There is no loss of forest land due to submergence.


Economically, hydropower stations are several times more favourable compared to thermal power stations keeping in view the life cycle costs, recurring fuel costs, environmental cost and grid economy.

Hydro power stations utilise water, as a zero cost input energy source against which there is a constant escalation in cost of fossil fuels used in thermal power station, thus making the operational cost of thermal power stations ever increasing.

Electricity generation from the hydro is always economical because of the following reasons:

* Life of Hydro Plants: Life of the hydro power plant is more than double that of thermal. This allows the cost of the project to be divided along the whole period making it a viable option when compared to other resources. Once the initial investment has been made in the necessary civil works, the plant life can be extended economically by relatively cheap maintenance and the periodic replacement of electromechanical equipment (replacement of turbine runners, rewinding of generators, etc - in some cases the addition of new generating units). Typically a hydro plant in service for 40-50 years can have its operating life doubled.

* Availability of water: As hydro projects are constructed in the places with abundant water which is the nature’s gift, the money need not be spent on for getting the resource, which is an economical option. The ‘fuel’ (water) is renewable, and is not subject to fluctuations in market. Countries with ample reserves of fossil fuels, such as Iran and Venezuela, have opted for a large scale program of hydro development, recognizing environmental benefits. Hydro also represents energy independence for many countries.

* Inflation Free: The hydro is inflation free but whereas the other fuels like coal, oil etc. are dependent on the inflation and the cost of these increases. For example the cost of coal has been increasing continuously by 6 % per annum.

* Low Operational Cost: As the life period of the hydro goes up to nearly 60 years the ongoing operational cost would be low.

* Low Average Cost: The average cost is also low for hydro. For example, the average cost of hydro power generation is 1/3 rd to 1/4 of the thermal generation. This is why hydro is considered to be 24 times cheaper than thermal.

Hydroelectric is less than half the cost of fossil fuel derived electricity. Note that the difference is in fuel costs.
* Conversion Efficiency: Thermal plant it is about 40% as against 85% for Hydro which means that for every one million units actually generated from thermal, 1.5 million units are being wasted.

* Credits from Governments and International Organisations: As the hydro projects produce the clean energy, the developers are being given special incentives from the governments and also as they reduce the green house gases the international organisations are giving the carbon credits.

* Gestation period: For the large hydro projects the gestation period is high, but...
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