Building good relations is essential for sharing knowledge for a better world. The India-Bhutan-delegation that recently visited HydroCen and NTNU with Innovation Norway look for cooperation on energy research and business opportunities.
— This visit has been very informative, and we welcome this cooperation. Sediments are a big issue in our mountains and we are very interested in the research being done here, says Mr. Ratish Kumar, Director of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation in India after visiting the geology laboratory at NTNU In Trondheim.
India is the 7th largest hydropower producer but is only exploiting 1/5 of the potential hydropower. Similar to Norway, large mountains and rivers in the Himalayas make India, Nepal and Bhutan ideal for harnessing the power in water. However, sediments and high maintence costs are troublesome.
— Hydropower is very important so succeed with renewable energy in India. We have great potential in hydropower, but we need research an innovation to face the challenges we have, says Mr.Kumar.
Throughout the tour of the laboratories it was clear that the members of the delegation were very knowledgeable in the field of hydropower, this lead to good discussions with the researchers.
Need for safer, long lasting tunnels
— The waterpower laboratory was especially interesting, said Mr Namgyal Tshering Bhutia, Principal Secretary of the Energy & Power Department, Government of Sikkim.
The North-eastern state of Sikkim produces about 200 MW of hydroelectric power today, but has a potential of 1000MW according to MR Bhutia.
— We also use Pelton turbines here for utilizing high head production, and Francis turbines for medium head. However, we don’t have as hard rock as you have here, so we need innovations and research to make tunnels safer and last longer, he says.
He has worked in hydropower for many years himself and now aims to bring back the experiences from the Norway visit to policy makers in India.
— One thing is our own experience, but with innovation and research you acquire more knowledge every year. The cooperation between hydropower industry in India and research at NTNU and HydroCen should continue and grow further.
Cooperation essential for development
India is one of the world’s largest energy markets and has declared ambitious goals for renewable energy.
— Finding cost effective, secure and environmentally friendly ways of developing hydropower in India can be essential for transitions to renewables in a growing energy marked, says HydroCen Director Hege Brende.
While the Norwegian hydropower sector is almost fully developed, the potential in India is enormous.
— It is important for us to cooperate and contribute with our research and knowledge to facilitate this, she says.
Leaning on more than 100 years of hydropower research she is confident that new solutions can be developed.
— The challenges in the Himalayas are different than ours, so this is a great opportunity for new and influential research as well as developing new innovations.