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Welcome focus on core competence Plummeting profits of PSBs Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Telangana in top gear… Rahman at CIC Tatas moving out of urea production... The rise and rise of KCP Mu Sigma – is no more More Shakti to resource mobilisation... F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Robber barons everywhere Preserving for the future The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more IPL - no surprise this scam Alexa – Talking Wikipedia S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist The nuclear option He saved millions from starvation... Make standards certification mandatory... Tribute – M V Murugappan Medical costs hit the roof... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Shale gas and its shallow future PC’s preference for professionals Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Protest masters... GM Technology at last! Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Muffled voices for merit… Tax agriculture Sweeter prospects for sugar IPL type auction for VCs? Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated More tributes to GR Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Sweet news for TN sugar mills An enemy’s enemy is a friend A friendly business group A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Quality silica from Neyveli When Ratan Tata visited SRM No engine for this car Kulandai was a giant A glass full of corruption The Jan Dhan bonanza The brown list of Venkitaramanan Why land prices zoom in TN? EEC at the National Media Centre Convulsions in The Hindu This scant respect for Law The balancing act The star of Spencers is no more CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Sri Lanka votes for change S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Haul over the coal L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles London, London Narayan Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Paytm karo... Align crops to agro climate endowments… Multi-faceted Venkat Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Should we change the official year? Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Strengthen the base... CII projects higher growth… Tough task taking states together Wise Presidents …and of a popular trade leader Engineering seats go abegging IAS invades NDDB... Welcome GST A welcome initiative by the judiciary All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya The few handicaps... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW GNS - 100: our first subscriber TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Cutting the nose to spite the face Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Valli, they are more marginalised Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Return to king coal for urea... The Gulf aviation boom ONGC at KG Basin When nations steal growth from one another… Build close rapport with business leaders When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Mersal magnified Maximising the micro pricing … Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Things happen by accident and not by design... Come elections, come advertisements... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Russi Mody – a tribute Delhi Chalo... Demise of a media baron... Nuclear power at the nucleus TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Which side are you, Montek? An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Revving up the manufacturing sector Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Put expensive assets created to use... The why of tax incentives SoA @ 80 Fuel for thought B H Kothari - a tribute Editor's Says Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Tribute Tatas moving out of urea production... Banning booze... Solar, solar everywhere … Vibrant Gujarat For whom the bell tolls? Moily’s bold thrust Parliament in paralysis... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Fortune 500 review Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Boy, can you beat these? Five star activism stalls development activity When small is no larger beautiful.. More heat than light to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines WTO Meet: resolved to meet again A proud Madrasi CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Gas is the way forward TELANGANA at last…BUT A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Shanti and Sadhana through Music A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami China invests in India Where a state respects its litterateurs… There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Cement prices continue to rise… No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Modi storms Silicon Valley Delhi returns to BJP A think tank for Chennai For whom the MIDS bell tolls? The power-full Hindujas TGS- The king storyteller MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Poor quality of university VCs Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Kudos to NDTV... He continues the focus on social amelioration Auto components surge… Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Contrarian cousins Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Solar thermal shines… Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Why this malaise in medical education? Roaring Ro-Ro facility Where is Rajaji? Polls and promises Delhi is distant… No Maha Koottani in TN... When the President was rendered homeless… Music happens Quality education through the PPP mode Readers' Mail Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Airlines in India: cost and space Waning interest in public discussions… A professional at the helm of IRDA... Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Streamlining mandatory third party cover Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy The sea- saw battle continues... Silver Years of Madras Musings A yen for wastage… Wanted: a second airport for Chennai The rise and fall of Annamalai University Delhi is distant Building loyalty through the stomach Adharma of opposition politics Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Kinetic Karnataka Towards speedy justice Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet TIAM turns a full cycle Funding the un-funded Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Another Indian music maestro at the UN Fortune for Indian Airlines Editor's Notes Secularism and anti-Hinduism Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! EVM is tamper-proof Pharma – overdose of copying West Bengal: mindless malignancy R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital The Swadeshi Trump Gay abandon in pricing Discoms deserve better… How Air-India loses customs... Revive development banks... Noble nonagenarians... A more liberated TN… Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Modi and the lady Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt When online building permits work…. Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Small units prefers to remain small... Breaththrough in malaria control Making ‘my Amaravati’... Intellectual of rare qualities Shipping woes of Chennai companies Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Road development slows down An inexplicable neglect TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model
 
Solar, solar everywhere …

There is a welcome thrust on solar power. It assumed special significance in the context of the persistent and widespread shortage of power. It was most pronounced in Tamil Nadu in 2012 when Tamil Nadu, save Chennai, was  subjected to 16 hours plus of power cuts.  With the abundant availability of sunlight it makes economic sense to harness solar power. The state promptly came out with an attractive policy on solar power by providing liberal incentives.

IE walked the talk without waiting for the firming up of the policy or the incentives.  It set up a 25 KW rooftop solar power facility over Economist House without availing itself of the promised subsidies. Happily, there has been widespread interest in this facility:  like the promotion of wind energy and co-generation facility for sugar mills, the liberal tax concessions such as full depreciation of the investment have attracted handsome investments.

S Seetharaman, Chairman and Managing Director, Super Auto Forge Pvt Ltd (SAF), cited the initiative taken by his company: along with a few other members of the cold forge fraternity, SAF has set up a solar power facility in the dry Ramanathapuram district through Mahindras for 1 MW to start with and plans to increase it to around 7 MW Seetharaman explained the efficient and the fast work done by Mahindras in setting up the facility in less than three months. He put the cost around Rs 7 crore per MW. What a drop from the Rs 20 crore per MW a couple of years ago!

However, a lot remains to be done: with multiple agencies involved, there is need for clarity on the rules and jurisdiction.  A single window setup to clear the applications will help. There is also a mushrooming of service providers with varying degrees of expertise.

Wind energy development was also launched with great expectations by offering depreciation and other incentives. However, over time, the investors have come to grief. Today, there is no assured off-take of wind energy generation at fair price. And large capacities remain idle owing to problems of maintenance, evacuation and prompt payments. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) can help. But unfortunately, right from inception, it has been bedeviled with problems of suitable experts to man top posts like chairman and members. Even now, the TNERC has no chairman. The state was reluctant to set up the commission for long and senior retired bureaucrats like K Venkatesan declined the offer to join the TNERC.

In the interest of long-term sustainability of non-conventional renewable energy, the state would do well to strengthen TNERC and also frame healthy and fair rules. More importantly, implement these in a transparent manner.

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