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Hydroelectric Power Projects*

CASE STUDY, STRATEGY
ET Cases - FLAME, 8 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Dr. Abhijat Arun Abhyankar - Associate Professor, Mudit Saksena, Rahul Chandrayan, Rudrani Chowdhury, Vineet Kumar - Students, National Institute of Construction Management and Research, Pune

Case Preview

Hydroelectric Power Projects

 

On January 23rd 2017, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) was hosting its 11th Energy Convention in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi where IAS officers, department heads of renewable energy of all the states and important delegates from various parts of the world were the key figures amongst others attending this mega event.

A bunch of scholars from across the prestigious engineering institutions in the nation as well as from across the globe had also been invited to this event to showcase their research work on how the energy security of India could be strengthened by trapping various renewable resources.

After the initial mandatory proceedings of the event, selected scholars were invited to present their research work and ideas on renewable energy. One particular presentation caught the attention of Dr. Akram when Binoy, a research scholar from IIT Madras, presented his research work on hydroelectric power (hydropower) and its position in the world with a special focus on the Indian scenario......................

Hydroelectric Power Scenario

Hydroelectric Power Scenario – Worldwide

In very basic terms, Binoy described how the potential energy of the water falling due to gravity resulted in the conversion of kinetic energy into mechanical energy and how this energy could then be harnessed by converting into any useable form of electrical energy. Since ancient times, hydropower had been used as a renewable energy source for basic activities such as irrigation of crops, petty household jobs, etc. But in the late 19th century, hydropower became a source for generating electricity and was utilized for operating various mechanical equipment such as sawmills, textile mills, ore mills, etc.......

Hydroelectric Power Scenario – India

Having put up enough information on the global end, Binoy brought back the attention of delegates and his fellow scholars by putting focus back on the Indian scenario. He continued, saying that India generated 13.1% of its total energy demands through the utilization of renewable energy and ranked as the 7th largest producer of hydropower in the world.......

Hydroelectric Power: Declining Proportion

Binoy had now arrived at the most interesting part of his presentation, something that he had come across while pursuing his research. He began the defence of his underlying talk saying that while India was one of the pioneering countries in establishing hydropower plants and that those at Darjeeling and Shimsha (Shivansamudra) established in 1898 and 1902 respectively were one of the first in Asia and served as a proof of this fact, hydropower had been witnessing a significant drop in its growth towards contribution to the country’s energy security...........

Narmada Sardar Sarovar Dam

Binoy had delivered the crux of his presentation. Now was the time to dig deep into the case and to see in real-time what all were the issues being faced at ground level. The first case example that he took up was that of the Narmada Sardar Sarovam Dam. He went ahead describing how a plan to harness Narmada River for irrigation and power generation in the Narmada basin was commenced in 1946 (Exhibit V). Binoy proceeded saying how, a total of seven projects which included........

Tipaimukh Dam

Binoy proceeded to the second case of his presentation, which was about the Tipaimukh Dam. He described that, Tipaimukh Dam, which fell under the category of an embankment dam had been commissioned in the year 1984 with a proposed length of 390 m and 162.8m in height16, across the Barak River, which would enter Bangladesh below the proposed dam location. He continued saying that upon completion, this project would have an installation capacity of 1,500 MW, supplied by six number of 250 MW Francis turbine generators.............

Influencing Factors and Challenges for Hydroelectric Power

Over the last 15-20 minutes of his presentation, Binoy had certainly managed to keep more than a few eyes glued to the screen. He started his conclusion stating that over the decades, hydropower projects had grown globally as well as in India in terms of total installed capacity. He told that when hydropower was introduced for the first time, governments pushed for the need of hydropower due to several advantages associated with this kind of renewable energy generation...........

Assignment Questions

I. Perform a SWOT analysis for a hydroelectric power project? Comparing the positives and negatives from the analysis, do you think it is beneficial to take up more hydroelectric power projects in the country? Why?

II. ...........

Exhibits

Exhibit I: Top Five Countries Generating Hydroelectric Power

Exhibit II: Hydroelectric Power Installed Capacity by Region (as on March 2015)

Exhibit III: Renewable Energy Power Share in India (as on March 2015)

Exhibit IV: Hydroelectric Power Trend Over the Last 50+ Years (India)

Exhibit V: Location of Narmada Sardar Sarovar Dam

Exhibit VI: Location of Tipaimukh Dam

Teaching Note Preview

Hydroelectric Power Projects

 

Synopsis

From the age of early man when fire was discovered by rubbing a few stones together, the hunt to derive energy in all forms and from all sources has been on. For a very long period of time, thermal energy dominated the scenario and nobody pointed fingers at the way it was being exploited. But, in the scenario of ever-expanding population, demands were never enough so as to be fulfilled only by thermal energy. That was the time when the concept of renewable energy was born and Hydroelectric Power (hydropower) generation enjoyed as the majority stakeholder in it for a long time. However, it carried several major issues and challenges that marked the decline of hydropower. This also opened opportunities for other renewable energy sources to find stable ground and to make a mark. This case describes a hypothetical event when a research scholar who is the protagonist of the story, coming from a renowned engineering institution, presents stark facts about how even after being the initiators in hydropower generation, five decades later the contribution of hydropower to the total energy generation for India accounts for even less than 20%. This case gives a detailed insight into the trends of hydropower generation in India over the past few decades and explores possible reasons for such trends by referring a few case studies relevant to the Indian scenario. It is expected that the students should identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are associated with harnessing hydropower. In addition, they can identify other green sources of power generation and identify their advantages and shortcomings vis-a-vis hydropower.

Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding/Before the Classroom Discussion

As the case talks about hydropower in detail, the students are required to be aware with the basic concept of generation of electricity from hydropower plants. For the same, they can refer any large scale hydropower plants that are present in India or abroad.

Students can refer the book “Hydropower” by Diane Bailey (1st Edition-Mankato, Minnesota: Creative Education [2015]) for getting a clear picture about hydropower.

Case Positioning and Setting

This case can be used for teaching students at Post Graduate level in the courses listed below:

• Environmental Management
• Environmental Law
• Public Policy
• Energy Management

Assignment Questions

I. Perform a SWOT analysis for a hydroelectric power project? Comparing the positives and negatives from the analysis, do you think it is beneficial to take up more hydroelectric power projects in the country? Why?
II................

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Abstract

Hydroelectric power project was a big boon to the Indian energy sector when initially commissioned in the early 20th century. By 1966, a significant proportion of the India’s energy requirement was being satisfied by various hydroelectric power projects in the country, which accounted for about 46% of the overall power generation. However, in the five decades that followed, the energy contribution of hydroelectric power projects in India had declined below 20%. It was also observed that there was an increase in the use of other renewable resources such as solar energy, biogas energy, wind energy, etc. This case discusses the advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric power projects and their contribution to energy security of the country.


Pedagogical Objectives

  • To carry out SWOT analysis of hydroelectric power projects in India
  • To understand the power generation trends in hydroelectric power projects in India
  • To discuss the advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric power projects and their contribution to energy security of India

Case Positioning and Setting

This case can be used for teaching courses like Environmental Management, Environmental Law, Public Policy and Energy Management

* FLAME CASE CONFERENCE 2017

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- Case Study
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
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