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