"‘Technological developments in the solar power sector and improved financial engineering have helped," said Mr. A.K. Kutty.

The solar power tariff in Andhra Pradesh is expected to come down to Rs. 5.5 per unit due to technological developments in the solar power sector and improved financial engineering, says A. K. Kutty, former CMD, AP Transco and former joint secretary, Union Ministry of Energy.

This will be 99 paise less compared to the per-unit price of Rs 6.49 recommended by the Group of Ministers to purchase power from solar plants.

National conference

Speaking at a national conference on Strategies for Energy Security, organised by the Institution of Engineers (India) on Monday, coinciding with the 112 birth anniversary of engineer-statesman Dr K. L. Rao, he said AP, at present, had no other option but to chalk out plans to tap solar energy to the maximum extent as it faced several constraints with respect to power generation from coal, water, gas and renewable sources like wind.

The State should tap this energy to reduce the ever widening demand-supply gap, taking advantage of numerous incentives offered by the Centre.

Mr. Kutty, a member of the State Energy Conservation Mission, said the per capital power consumption in AP at 1,019 kwh compared to the national average of 879 kwh was indicative of growth.

Wasteland

AP comprises a vast chunk of wasteland and this must be utilised for setting up solar power farms in phases.

T. L. Shankar, a power sector expert, I. S.N. Raju, former chief engineer, Irrigation & Command Area Development, L. V. Rao, former CEO, NTPC Power Trading Corporation, and others spoke. G. Sudhakar, chairman, IEI, presided.