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