Power generation through renewable energy sources will constitute half of Tamil Nadu's total power generated in about a decade's time, according to R. Christodas Gandhi, Chairman and Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA).

While power through wind mills accounted for bulk of energy generated in this sector at present in Tamil Nadu, solar power will get a major boost after the Centre unveils its National Solar Mission policy, aimed at increasing solar power generation to 20,000 mw nationally.

He was talking to journalists here on Thursday after addressing a seminar on solar and biomass power, which was attended by 60 engineering colleges affiliated to Anna University - Tiruchi. He added that while solar power generation was minimal in Tamil Nadu at present, around 1,000 mw could be generated in a decade.

The main hindrance was that, while thermal power generation using coal requires around Rs. 6 crore, solar power generation would need Rs. 16 crore to Rs. 20 crore for 1 mw. “With an installed capacity of 4,000 mw, wind mills in Tamil Nadu account for 40 per cent of the country's wind power and 30 per cent of the State's power is generated through renewable sources,” he said.

The TEDA was shifting its focus to solar, biomass and biogas. While Tamil Nadu was generating 150 mw through biomass, potential exists for another 500 mw. Power generation through biogas has been successfully done by a few mills in Namakkal and Salem districts with Sathyabama College in Chennai getting global accreditation for its solar cooking system.

Tamil Nadu has around 400 engineering colleges, each of which has massive campuses that generate a lot of waste. If they take to biomass, they could reduce waste generation and reduce pollution. It was towards this direction that the meetings with engineering colleges affiliated to Anna University were being held, he said. N. Mathivanan, District Collector also took part in the meeting.

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