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Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... He continues the focus on social amelioration Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Editor's Notes TELANGANA at last…BUT Silver Years of Madras Musings L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… A professional at the helm of IRDA... Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Another Indian music maestro at the UN Don’t seem to feel the pulse… CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. When Ratan Tata visited SRM Valli, they are more marginalised The sea- saw battle continues... 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Robber barons everywhere Music happens Secularism and anti-Hinduism Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Kulandai was a giant Haul over the coal Build close rapport with business leaders CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Contrarian cousins Discoms deserve better… Multi-faceted Venkat EVM is tamper-proof Strengthen the base... Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Align crops to agro climate endowments… Things happen by accident and not by design... R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... A proud Madrasi The Gulf aviation boom Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Waning interest in public discussions… Small units prefers to remain small... Sri Lanka votes for change Rahman at CIC A think tank for Chennai More tributes to GR Boy, can you beat these? Welcome GST Nuclear power at the nucleus F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Towards speedy justice Auto components surge… A friendly business group Mu Sigma – is no more Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Why this malaise in medical education? Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Mersal magnified Revive development banks... Fuel for thought Shanti and Sadhana through Music More heat than light The rise and rise of KCP Kinetic Karnataka Adharma of opposition politics When small is no larger beautiful.. Delhi is distant… Vibrant Gujarat A yen for wastage… Banning booze... The why of tax incentives The nuclear option Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Sweeter prospects for sugar Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Preserving for the future Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities West Bengal: mindless malignancy Medical costs hit the roof... Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Muffled voices for merit… L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles London, London Narayan Airlines in India: cost and space Cutting the nose to spite the face GNS - 100: our first subscriber A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Plummeting profits of PSBs S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Readers' Mail The Jan Dhan bonanza TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Maximising the micro pricing … Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Should we change the official year? Making ‘my Amaravati’... …and of a popular trade leader Which side are you, Montek? A glass full of corruption A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Paytm karo... Polls and promises CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? TGS- The king storyteller Cement prices continue to rise… Roaring Ro-Ro facility Telangana in top gear… TIAM turns a full cycle Where is Rajaji? Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan The few handicaps... Breaththrough in malaria control Come elections, come advertisements... Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra He saved millions from starvation... Russi Mody – a tribute Streamlining mandatory third party cover Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Tribute Gas is the way forward The Swadeshi Trump GM Technology at last! When nations steal growth from one another… Modi and the lady 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 MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways No engine for this car Put expensive assets created to use... Delhi is distant SoA @ 80 Tatas moving out of urea production... This scant respect for Law Welcome focus on core competence Shale gas and its shallow future An enemy’s enemy is a friend For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Moily’s bold thrust Why land prices zoom in TN? Modi storms Silicon Valley Five star activism stalls development activity Sweet news for TN sugar mills Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Parliament in paralysis... A welcome initiative by the judiciary Of course, Gujarat is vibrant For whom the bell tolls? PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals When online building permits work…. Solar thermal shines… Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Protest masters... Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Quality silica from Neyveli Kudos to NDTV... Pharma – overdose of copying CII projects higher growth… Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Solar, solar everywhere … Shipping woes of Chennai companies Demise of a media baron... Delhi returns to BJP Lalu’s envy, India’s pride No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Make standards certification mandatory...
 
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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