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Life Cycle Assessment of Small Hydro Power Plants in Uttarakhand

Author : Ruby Pant, Saurabh Aggarwal and Kalpit joshi

Pages : 289-294
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In the past decades, the fossil fuels are being used for the generation of electricity. Due to this the gases emitted from combustion process affect our environment, economic and social conditions of human being and also the human health. In the recent times the new technologies are being introduced in the field of generation of electricity to reduce or mitigate the bad effects. Now a day’s renewable energy resources are also being used for generation of electricity. In India energy needs will correspondingly increase in the future. The challenge is to produce required power in a sustainable manner and at realistic cost. Small hydropower has the potential of about 15000MW in India and is considered to be a sustainable source of electricity generation. Energy generation is a major source of GHG elements such as CO2, SOX, NOX and suspended particles. It also produces large quantity of solid waste, and also contributes to water pollution. Hydro power is a renewable energy source where power is derived from the energy of moving water from higher to lower elevation. Hydropower requires relatively high initial investment but has the advantage of very low operational cost and cleaner energy. In the present work three small hydro power plants are selected for the study. The capacity of these power plants is: 30MW, 33.33 MW and 51MW respectively. The objective of the present work is to do the life cycle assessment of hydro power plants and comparison of hydro power plant with coal based power plant on the basis of break-even analysis and to calculate the GHG emission of three small hydro power. A detailed LCA methodology is therefore presented. The results obtained from the work shows that GHG emission increase with decrease the capacity of the power plant and GHG emission increase with increasing the head of the power plants. The small hydro power plants have many environmental and social impacts. Small hydro power plant projects have much small environmental footprint compared to traditional reservoir storage hydro power projects. Small hydro power plants are more environmental friendly than other type of power plants (large dam, nuclear, natural gas fired plant and coal). The use of renewable energy has low visual impact, have minimum impact on vegetation and bird or wild life. GHG emissions of hydropower plant are mainly from construction, operation, maintenance and dismantling

Keywords: LCA, Hydro power plant, emission

Article published in International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology, Vol.6, No.1 (Feb-2016)


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