In this article we will discuss about power plants in India along with the list of Thermal,Nuclear and Hydroelectric Power plants in India. India stands just after People’s Republic of China and USA in energy consumption as per World Energy Consumption Statistics 2020 released by Enerdata.

World Energy Consumption Statistics 2020

World Energy Consumption Statistics 2020

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There are two types of Energy Source

  • Non-Renewable energy: Thermal, hydroelectric and nuclear power plants produce non-renewable energy.
  • Renewable energy: Solar power, Wind, Waste-to-Energy, etc. are renewable energy sources.

Thermal Power Plants

India is world’s fifth largest proven producer of coal, one of the main raw materials for thermal power plants. Other sources of energy are diesel, natural gas.

Thermal Power Plant is a energy generating plant which converts heat energy of coal combustion into electrical energy is known as a Thermal Power Plants or steam power plant.

A Thermal Power Plant or Steam Power Plant works on principle of Rankine cycle. Steam is produced in the boiler by heat produced due to coal combustion. The steam is then expanded in the steam turbine  and then it is condensed in a condenser to be fed into the boiler again.The steam turbine drives the alternator.The alternator is the device which converts the mechanical energy of the turbine into electrical energy.


  • The fuel (i.e. coal) used is cheap and available.
  • Initial cost for establishment of a thermal power plant is less as compared to other generating plants.
  • Thermal Power Plants can be installed át any place irrespective of the availability of coal.
  • The coal can be transported to the site of the plant by public transport system.
  • Thermal Power Plants require less space as compared to the hydroelectric power station.


  • It pollutes the environment as a thermal power plant produces large amount of smoke and fumes.
  • Operating cost is higher as compared to hydroelectric plant.
# Indian thermal power plants generates more than 65% of India’s electricity generation and 85% of the India’s thermal power generation being coal-based.

India’s top 10 thermal Power Plants on the Basis of Production of Energy 

1. Vindhyachal Thermal Power Station Madhya Pradesh
2. Adani Power’s Mundra Thermal Power Station Gujarat
3. Tata Power’s Mundra Ultra Mega Power Plant Gujarat
4. Sasan Ultra Mega Power Plant Madhya Pradesh
5. Tiroda Thermal Power Station Maharashtra
6. Talcher Super Thermal Power Station Odisha
7. Rihand Thermal Power Station Uttar Pradesh
8. Sipat Thermal Power Plant Chhattisgarh
9. Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station Maharashtra
10. National Capital Power Station Uttar Pradesh

Hydro-electric Power Plants

Hydro-electric Power Plant is a generating station which uses the potential energy of water from a high level to produce electrical energy.

Hydro-electric power plants are generally constructed in hilly areas where dams or large water reservoir can be built conveniently.In a hydroelectric power plant, a dam across is constructed over a river or lake. From the dam, water is pushed into a water turbine. The water turbine consumes the energy in the falling water and changes the hydraulic energy into mechanical energy.The turbine drives the alternator. Alternator is the device which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.


  • Hydro-electric power plants require no fuel as water is used for the generation of electrical energy.
  • Hydro-electric power plants are environment friendly as no smoke or ash is produced.
  • Hydro-electric power plants require very small running charges because water is available free of cost.
  • Hydro-electric power plants require less maintenance costs and has a longer life.
  • Apart from generation of electrical energy Hydro-electric power plants help in irrigation and controlling floods.


  • It involves high initial capital cost to construction of dam.
  • There might be uncertainty of availability of huge amount of water due to dependence on weather conditions.
  • Skilled and experienced workforce are required to build the plant.
  • Hydro-electric power plants involve high cost of transmission lines as these plants are located in hilly areas which are quite away from the consumers.

India’s top 10 Hydroelectric Power Plants on the Basis of Production of Energy

1. Koyna Hydroelectric Plant Koyna River Maharashtra
2. Hirakund Hydroelectric Plant Mahanadi River Odisha
3. Idukki Hydroelectric Plant Periyar River Kerala
4. Nagarjuna Hydroelectric Plant Krishna River Andhra Pradesh
5. Tehri Hydroelectric Plant Bhagirathi River Uttarakhand
6. Bhakra Nangal Hydroelectric  Plant Sutlej River Himachal Pradsh
7. Sardar Sarovar Hydroelectric Plant Narmada River Gujarat
8. Nathpa Jhakri Hydroelectric Plant Sutlej River Himachal Pradsh
9. Srisailam Hydroelectric Plant Krishna River Andhra Pradesh
10. Indira Sagar Hydroelectric Plant Narmada River Madhya Pradesh
Some Hydro-electric Power Plants in News
  • Indo-Bhutan joint venture hydroelectric project (Kholongchhu project) of 600 MW Hydro Energy is signed. I will be constructed over Kholongchhu river in Trashiyangtse district of Bhutan.
  • 120MW Rangit Stage IV hydroproject of NHPC in Sikkim will be stopped by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)
  • Cabinet approves investments in India’s largest hydropower plant of estimated cost Rs 28080.35 crore in Dibang Multipurpose Project in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • India will proceed with Ratle hydro-electric power project but Pakistan alleges violation of Indus treaty.The Ratle dam is currently under construction on the Chenab River.

Nuclear Power plant

Nuclear power plant is  a energy generating plant in which nuclear energy is converted into electrical energy. In nuclear power plant heavy elements such as Uranium (U) or Thorium (Th) are subjected to nuclear fission in a special device as a reactor.The produced heat energy is used in raising steam at high temperature and pressure.The steam operates the steam turbine which converts steam energy into the mechanical energy. The turbine drives the alternator.Alternators is device converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.


  • The amount of fuel required is quite small. Hence, there is a considerable saving in the fuel transportation expense.
  • A nuclear power plant has low running charges as a small amount of fuel is used for producing huge amount electrical energy.
  • Large deposits of nuclear fuels are available all over the world. That is why such plants can ensure continued supply of electrical energy for thousands of years.


  • The fuel used i.e Uranium (U) or Thorium (Th) are expensive and is difficult to extract from earth’s surface.
  • The initial capital cost of a nuclear power plant is very high as compared to other types of plants.
  • The erection and commissioning of the plant involves in depth technicality and high expense.
  • The fission by-products are generally radioactive and may pollute the environment.

Nuclear Power Plants in India

1. KudanKulam Nuclear Power Plant Tamil Nadu
2. Tarapur Nuclear Reactor Maharashtra
3. Rajasthan Atomic Power Station Rajasthan
4. Kaiga Atomic Power Plant Karnataka
5. Kalapakkam Nuclear Power Plant Tamil Nadu
6. Narora Nuclear Reactor Uttar Pradesh
7. Kakrapar Atomic Power Station Gujarat


Some Nuclear Power Plants in News
  • Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay has recently recommissioned India’s oldest nuclear research reactor called ‘Apsara’, which was shut down permanently in 2009.It is situated at BARC’s Trombay campus (Maharashtra)
  • India, Argentina Signed a MoU for Co-Operation in Nuclear Energy.
  • India’s first indigenously developed Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor is in operation at Kalpakkam Nuclear Power plant in Tamil Nadu.
  • Russia developed world’s first floating nuclear power station called Akademik Lomonosov.


Some most asked GK questions 

  • Which one is the first hydroelectric power plant in India?

The hydroelectric power plant near Sivasamudram falls over the Cauvery river in Karnataka was the first major power station in India.This power plant was owned by British companies.

  • Which one is the first thermal power plant in India?

Hussain Sagar Thermal Power plant is the oldest thermal power plant which was located in Hyderabad, Telangana on the banks of Hussain Sagar. This thermal Power plant was established in 1920 by the the Nizam of Hyderabad.

  • Which one is the India’s oldest nuclear research reactor?

India’s oldest nuclear research reactor called ‘Apsara’. The reactor was established by the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) and built with assistance from the United Kingdom in August 1956.

  • Which one is the biggest nuclear power station in India?

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu is the highest-capacity nuclear plant in India.

  • What is the umbrella organisation that controls and monitors all Nuclear Power Plants in India?

India’s nuclear plants are controlled by Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) which was founded in 1987.

  • How many Nuclear Power Plants are there in India?

There are total 7 Nuclear Power Plants in India


Here are Pictorial view of some Power Plants in India


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