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