September 22, 2007 (Hindu Business Line) India, which accounts for 31 per cent of world’s CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) projects, sees a huge opportunity for small hydro power projects to get carbon credits or Certified Emission Reductions (CERs).There is an estimated potential of 15,000 MW from small hydropower projects in the country. Of this, about 2,000 MW has been tapped so far. “This shows that there is a significant potential for taking up CDM projects in this segment,” Mr V. Subramanian, Union Secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, told Business Line. The Kyoto Protocol allows hydropower projects with less than 25 MW capacity to claim carbon credits. “We have 70 small hydro projects in the pipeline to get the CDM status. Of these, 31 have already been registered, while 34 are at the validation stage,” he said.
Mr Subramanian also pointed to the lack of understanding about CDM requirements and methodologies.
For administrative purposes, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is the nodal point in the Union government for small hydro power, while the Ministry of Power is responsible for hydro power projects with capacities beyond 25 MW.
India has been demanding that hydro power be considered as a renewable source of energy.
Mr Michel J.L. Pommier, Regional Coordinator (South Asian Region) of World Bank’s Carbon Finance arm, said hydro power was a huge opportunity. “There are projects okayed in countries like Brazil and Pakistan. This is a good opportunity for India,” he said.
Large hydro power plants can also take advantage of the CDM mechanism subject to the conditions stipulated in the World Commission on Dams.