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