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