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Hydropower is a major component of India's renewable energy goals for electricity generation. It is vital as peaking power and for grid balancing / stability, given India’s commitment to generate 40% of total cumulative electric power capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

The government has ambitious plans for establishing hydel plants, and the private sector is also keen to participate, as hydropower remains the world's largest source of renewable electricity with several other non-power advantages as well.

India’s economy, South Asia’s largest, is expected to grow by about 8.3% in the fiscal year 2021 – 22 and the next year forecast for GDP growth is 8.5-9%. The Government plans to invest about 102 lac crores on Infrastructure projects by 2024-25 to boost economic growth. Further, the announcement of a 100 lakh crore 'Gatishakti' initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a national plan for multi-model connectivity will lead to an all-round national development with focus on jobs, growth, with special focus on power, roads, railways, ports etc.

Construction of hydro power projects needs huge precision and experience and is done after overcoming various hurdles as these projects are located in remote areas, access to which is generally very difficult. There are very few companies in India today who have successfully constructed and completed such projects, especially the large ones.

Because of the joint efforts of the government PSUs and such firms, India is fast gaining pace, and hydropower generation is taking on new significance. Patel Engineering Ltd, a Mumbai-based EPC business led by industry veteran Mr. Rupen Patel, is one of the key participants in this transformation, with a 72-year heritage.

"With clean energy on top of the government's agenda India is committed to obtaining 40% of its installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, and is pursuing renewable targets of 175 GW by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030," says Mr. Rupen Patel, Chairman & MD, Patel Engineering Ltd. As a result, hydropower is critical for integrating renewable energy into the system and compensating for irregularities."

He further adds, "Global breakthroughs in green technology, particularly hydro power, solar power, and energy storage, have given India's clean-energy ambitions a boost. Today, India is exceeding expectations and shattering records as a result of rapid technological advancements. Seven decades of experience will give us a competitive edge and we will be focusing on high technology intensive work such as underground tunneling and hydropower projects, which give us a competitive advantage."

The company is leading the way in advancing a green economy, and it is now focusing on its strong engineering and technical expertise in completing major infrastructure projects in the tunnelling and hydropower sectors. It has completed over 85 dams, 40 hydroelectric projects and more than 300 km of tunneling. Since inception PEL has been involved with generation of over 10,000 MW i.e. almost 25% of India's installed hydro power capacity. Its order book has nearly doubled in the last four years, rising from around 7,000 crore in 2017 to around Rs. 15,000 crore as of September 2021, and the company has secured some of the most prestigious projects in the recent past, including the 2,240 Kiru HEP project in Jammu & Kashmir, Rs. 1,514 crore Subansiri HEP project in Arunachal Pradesh, Rs. 1,251 crore Teesta hydro power project in South Sikkim and 976 Luhri HEP project in Himachal Pradesh, amongst others.

"Key to much of the confidence for hydropower in India is due to the Government's statement back in early 2019 that large hydro is formally classified as a renewable energy source," says Kavita Shirvaikar, CFO, Patel Engineering. Previously, only plants with a capacity of less than 25 MW were considered renewable, but today all hydropower falls under this category. Large hydropower projects have also been declared as part of the non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation by the Union Cabinet, which is chaired by the Prime Minister. Furthermore, budgetary support has given the sector a new lease on life."

Patel Engineering Ltd. has expanded rapidly and is currently focusing more on hydropower projects. Rupen Patel believes that India's energy demand is increasing in order to meet the country's economic development plans, and that the company's cutting-edge EPC offerings and best-in-class service will help the country tap previously untapped opportunities, such as constructing and promoting Hydro Power projects for sustainability and efficiency.

Disclaimer: This content is distributed by Digpu News Network. No HT journalist is involved in creation of this content. 

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