National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), the largest state-owned hydropower enterprise in India, announced plans to construct hydro and solar projects of over 27,000 megawatts (MW) in nine states and neighboring country Nepal, as reported by Economic Times on December 19. Citing NHPC chairman and managing director Abhay Kumar Singh, the projects would be built in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha. Other countries are also interested in the projects after Nepal mulled joint ventures with NHPC to operate hydropower stations. Singh added that NHPC has an ample budget of CR100bn (USD1.32bn) for the clean energy projects, and the figure could be expanded to USD1.72bn as the company expects its profit to grow.
NHPC now has clean energy projects of 6,000 MW under construction and 9,000 to 10,000 MW in preparation, with a long-term goal of 50,000 MW clean energy capacity including solar. The company is recuperating the projects suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. India invested USD6.4bn in the renewable energy sector in the fiscal year 2020 ending in March 2021, slashing 24% YoY from the fiscal year 2019 amid the lockdown and disrupted supply chain during the pandemic period. In response, the Indian government has spent USD6.6bn on the renewable energy sector in the first four months of the fiscal year 2021, exceeding that over the last fiscal year. According to Prime Minister Modi’s commitment at the COP26 summit, over 50% of the power consumption will be generated from renewable energy in 2030. For that, the country plans to boost its renewable energy capacity to 500 gigawatts (GW) in 2030 from 101 GW at present.