Plans on to generate 3,000 MW of solar power over the next three years, says R.Viswanathan, Minister for Electricity

The State government is committed to promoting renewable energy, especially solar energy, in a big way in the State, said R.Viswanathan, Minister for Electricity, here on Saturday.

Given the rapid depletion of fossil fuels for generating thermal power and the limitations of hydro power, it is imperative that the State and the country tapped the vast potential for renewable energy sources.

The Tamil Nadu government has already taken a series of measures to raise awareness and promote renewable energy and wanted to make it a mass movement, Mr.Viswanathan said speaking at a function to distribute prizes to the winners of the State-level inter-school competitions organised as part of the ‘Green Energy Virumbhuvom,’ by the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) and Rotary International.

The State government, the Minister pointed out, has already come out with a Vision 2023 programme which aims to bring in huge investments in infrastructure, especially the power sector.

The government has also brought out a Solar Energy Policy and planned to generate 3000 MW of solar power over the next three years. Tenders have already been called for generating 1000 MW solar power and the private investors have shown keen interest in the project, he said.

Referring to the current power shortage of 4000 MW in the State, Mr.Viswanathan said power generation was gradually increasing, thanks to the measures initiated by the Chief Minister. As new power projects are commissioned, the shortage would be bridged soon.

N.R.Sivapathy, Minister for School Education, Law, Youth Welfare and Sports, appealed to the students to raise awareness on renewable sources.

Sudeep Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, TEDA, said 30 per cent of the country’s renewable energy installations and 40 per cent of wind energy installations were in Tamil Nadu.

Expressing confidence that the target of generating 3000 MW of solar energy by 2015 would be achieved, he said the State government was extending various incentives for promoting solar energy. For the first time in the country, domestic solar installations are to be given generation based incentive.

The State government has also introduced the concept of net metering. Such path breaking initiatives are likely to be adopted soon at the national level.

The government has also decided that all government buildings would have solar power installations and existing buildings would also convert to the energy source in a phased manner.

P.Kumar, MP, appealed to the Electricity Minister to support a waste-to-energy project planned by the Tiruchi Corporation. The BHEL, Tiruchi, has expressed willingness to take up the project as a joint venture, he said.

A.Jaya, Mayor, said the Corporation has taken steps to install solar roof top installations at its office.

Y.Kumanan and Jaganathan of Rotary International said oratorical and painting competitions were conducted in about 1045 schools across the State under the Green Energy Virumbhuvom campaign this year.

About 1.25 lakh students had participated in the competitions.

State level winners and runners-up were awarded electric scooters and solar water heaters.

S.Karunakaran, General Manager, TEDA, and others spoke.