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Preparing ground for tapping renewable energy sources

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Ramesh Kymal, renewable energy expert. Photo: Vipin Chandran
Ramesh Kymal, renewable energy expert. Photo: Vipin Chandran

Staff Reporter

`Kerala an ideal ground for generating wind energy'

KOCHI: India's growth rate has attracted international attention. Will the economy continue to perform well? This is a question being asked at various levels.

Decision-makers and political pundits prescribe particular remedies to treat the economic ills. Entrepreneurs have their own projections on the state of affairs and provide suggestions that need close observation.

Ramesh Kymal is one such entrepreneur who is ready to provide logical solutions to the energy crisis haunting the country.

"Adequate supply of energy is required to sustain the growth rate. The country lost Rs.15,000 crores last year due to shortage of power," says Mr. Kymal, who is associated with various renewable energy projects and associations working in the arena.

Renewable energy provides the right solution to tackle the energy crisis. "We don't have oil or gas. So how do we ensure that the GDP will grow at the present rate?" Kymal asks. India has vast open lands and there are a lot of locations where wind energy can be tapped.

There are a number of entrepreneurs ready to invest in wind energy projects, but there is not enough support from Government agencies.

This has hampered the prospects of such projects.

Nevertheless, Mr. Kymal is sure that the renewable energy sector will grow.

"There are policy hurdles, but the sector will definitely grow," he says.

Mr. Kymal, who heads the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers' Association, has provided technical expertise to various wind energy projects. Is Kerala an ideal ground for generating wind energy?

"Certainly. We conducted a study in Kerala last year. A 30-mw project is underway at Ramakkalmedu. Government decision on the tariff structure for the generated power is being awaited." He says wind energy projects had been supported by the previous LDF Government.

How is it that some of the earlier projects failed to take off? "There was a turbine at Kanjikkode in Palakkad. It did not function properly for two reasons - poor maintenance and technological hassles. Now the technology has improved. We have site-specific turbines to suit wind speed," he says.

Kerala is lagging behind other States in setting up wind energy projects, he says. Several projects have been set up in States such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

It will be a wise decision to invest in alternative energy resources, he says. "Germany has enough power, but it is investing in wind energy projects."

The investor can gain from the carbon credit system, he says.

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