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Climate change to increase hydropower generation in India

A new study by the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, predicts that future climate change is set to positively affect hydropower generation at the majority of sites in India.

The report, Projected increase in hydropower production in India under climate change, found that, in spite of the top seven hydropower projects in India experiencing a decline in precipitation and streamflow between 1951 and 2007, hydropower generation is set to increase as the climate becomes warmer and wetter.

The report states, “The reservoirs located in central and southern India are projected to experience an increase in streamflow and developed hydropower potential (DHP), which is mainly because of an increase in the monsoon season precipitation under the projected future climate. Despite the large uncertainties in the summer monsoon rainfall projections, a majority of global climate models project an increase in the future climate.

“However, our results show a substantially less increase (less than 18.5%) in the projected future climate, as reported by Menon et al. As in most of the sub-continental river basins, streamflow is dominated by the changes in the summer monsoon precipitation. For the two large reservoirs located in northern India, snowfall is projected to decline while rainfall (monsoon season) is projected to increase causing an overall increase in DHP.”

In conclusion, the report stresses that future hydropower projects in India must consider the potential impact of climate change on DHP before settling on a location.

To read more from the Indian Institute of Technology report, click here.

The report was written by Syed Azhar Ali, Saran Aadhar, Harsh L Shah and Vimal Mishra from the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar.

- August 2018

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