Himachal Pradesh Case Study
How has hydropower performed in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh
How could climate change impact on existing and planned hydropower
generation in the state?
This case study draws on a literature review and in-country stakeholder
consultations to understand the issues surrounding hydropower
performance and development in HP and includes sections on the case
study context, systematic mapping of water-energy-food systems,
hydropower performance and its influencing factors, and identifies
interventions for increasing the positive impacts of hydropower schemes
on water, energy and food security. The case study found that a more
integrated approach to planning and operation of the state’s hydropower
potential, including an improved climate change strategy and action plan
could help HP to stay at the forefront of efforts to harness hydropower
sustainably, in developing countries. Increasing river flows owing to
glacier melt, which are likely over the next century, present an
opportunity to employ HP’s hydropower potential to maximise growth and
development in the state. It is important that development of the
state’s hydropower potential does not compromise the ability of its
natural environment to support sustainable development however.
Much can be learned from HP about progressive policies to support
hydropower development in other countries/regions, but the basic
conditions of a well-developed, decentralised democracy and land
ownership rights seem to be particularly strong foundations. Efforts to
restructure the Indian power sector to provide greater incentives for
sustainable hydropower development will be extremely challenging but no
less important in the long term.
Interventions identified which could help maximise the water, energy and
food security benefits from HP’s hydropower potential were:
- Build on the State Strategy and Action Plan for Climate Change,
filling gaps identified to help integrate hydropower planning and
- Build the partnership approach between local people and hydropower
- Establish coordination bodies to promote integrated water management
and soil and water conservation practices.
- Support definition, monitoring and enforcement of appropriate
environmental flows in rivers affected by hydropower projects.
- Identify opportunities to develop payments for ecosystem services
- Restructuring of the power sector in India as a whole.
This report has been produced for Evidence on Demand by HR Wallingford
with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development
(DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment, Infrastructure and
Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (CEIL
PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which incorporates HTSPE
Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited. It was produced for DFID’s
Adaptation Knowledge and Tools programme.
Hurford, A.P.; Wade, S.D.; Winpenny, J. Himachal Pradesh, India case study: Harnessing hydropower. Evidence on Demand, UK (2014) viii + 66 pp. [DOI: 10.12774/eod_cr.august2014.hurfordaetal01]