‘JK has 25,000 MW hydropower potential’
In 100 yrs, State Able To Produce Only 767 MWs
Srinagar, Nov 21: An independent assessment has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir’s hydropower potential is 25,000 megawatts, much higher than the state government’s estimated figure of 16000 to 20,000 megawatts.
Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) has assessed the hydropower potential of the state at 20, 000 MW and identified about 16000 MWs for the four rivers in the state: Chenab (10853.81 MW), Jhelum (3141.30 MW), Indus (1598.70 MW) and Ravi (417.00 MW).
A team of researchers from the University of Kashmir have, however, reassessed the hydropower potential, putting the figure at over 25,000 MW for the power-starved state.
The assessment reveals that the JKSPDC has “underestimated” the hydropower potential, particularly that of Indus basin. “JKSPDC has underestimated the hydropower potential of the Indus basin that has tremendous flow and steep gradient compared to other rivers in the state,” said Dr Shakil Romshoo, who led the assessment team.
Romshoo, an expert in geology and geophysics, said of the state’s identified hydropower potential only 2327 MWs (10 percent) has been exploited so far, with 767 MWs in state sector from 21 power projects and 1560 MWs from three power projects in the central sector.
The first power project commissioned in Jammu and Kashmir was Mohra Power Project (3 MW) in Uri in north Kashmir in 1905. Since then, the state has been able to produce only 767 MW hydropower in the state sector, indicating the ‘neglect’ that the vital area has faced over the years.
The basin-wise reassessed hydropower potential is being reported in a detailed report on the hydropower scenario in Jammu and Kashmir. It is being complied by the team and shall be made public once it is ready.
“For achieving higher rates of economic growth and human development, the energy sector in Jammu and Kashmir demands a high priority in the planning process at the macro-level and also in the allocation of public
funds for its growth, research and development,” said Dr Romshoo, who is also the coordinator of the Energy and Climate Change Research Initiative at the University of Kashmir.
According to Dr Romshoo, for energy planning and development to be scientifically sound, it is necessary to promote institutions whose mandate would be to build the capacity of the state in terms of producing necessary human resource and to generate reliable and accurate data for developing energy policy for the promotion of eco-friendly energy development, investment and planning.
According to the JKSPDC, the assessment was a continuous process and the figures can vary sometimes. “There can be a change depending upon the location and other parameters,” said a senior JKSPDC officer, insisting not to be named. “Earlier we had assessed 18 MW potential for Chutak Power project, but it was revised to 30 MW later. Similarly in Leh, Nimoo Bazgoo we had initially assessed potential of 30 MW which was later revised to 45 MW. There are some other projects where we revised the potential after detailed survey. Actually the assessment is not yet complete in all streams and rivulets. So there can be change.”
The officer said as of now JKPDC was sure that the “solid hydropower potential of the state” was 16000 MW. “With regard to this figure, we have all the details,” the officer said.
According to experts, after meeting the state’s domestic, industrial, agricultural and other demands which as of now is about 2000 MW, the balance power can be exported and the earnings out of such sale will be many times more than the annual budget of the state.
“The demand of energy continuously goes on increasing year after year. Thus, huge portion of the state budget is utilized in purchase of power from various agencies outside the state. Keeping in view the current power scenario in the state, there is a distinct possibility that energy shortages in the state would grow and impose a heavy economic and social cost on its people. However, if the power potential is fully exploited, the state would be in a position to meet its own demand and even bail out Central government and neighboring states by providing the surplus energy and inter alia generate huge earnings for the state that would be utilized for economic and human development,” said Dr Romshoo.
He said: “The growth and development of the state, encompassing all the sectors of the economy and all the sections of society, is contingent on meeting its energy requirements adequately and at affordable prices.”
As per the official figures released here Saturday, the peak energy demand of the state is 2425 MWs against total availability is 1492 MWs leaving a deficit of 933 MWS.
As per the official data, ` 1272.05 crore expenditure was made on power purchase upto September 2010 out of the total budgetary allocation of ` 2050.05 crore.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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