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Answer to Tamil Nadu power problems is blowin’ in the wind

According to reports,the last fortnight, when wind energy met over one-third of Tamil Nadu’s energy demand, has proven the ability of renewable energy to consistently meet utility-scale energy supply, according to the Indian Wind Power Association.

This illustrates the need for the policy makers at the State and Centre to restore the incentives to support the wind energy sector, said the Association.

The association of wind energy producers said that since May 25 wind mills contributed over 2,800 MW to 3,500 MW of power to the State Grid.

Referring to the official statistics available with the Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation, the utility handling power transmission, they said for nearly a fortnight now, the wind mills have fed 70-80 million units of electricity daily into the State’s power grid. This accounts for up to 35 per cent of Tamil Nadu’s energy requirement. This supply has contributed significantly to alleviating the power shortage of about 3,000 MW in the State.

While this is significant in itself, what is more important, say the wind energy producers, is that wind energy has proven the ability to consistently support the grid.

It has disproved the belief that a more than one-fifth share of wind energy into a grid will impact its stability as this nonconventional source can be inconsistent – what the power sector dubs as ‘infirm’ power.

Tamil Nadu has made a mark on the global renewable energy scene as it is now second only to Denmark, where wind mills contribute up to 40 per cent to the power grid.

With the windy season in Tamil Nadu set to last up to October beginning from July-August, wind energy is set to play a bigger role.

The wind energy producers have urged the power utility to continue evacuating all the power generated from the wind mills. Over 7,000 MW of wind energy generation capacity is available. They have urged the State Government to allow export of surplus energy outside Tamil Nadu by lifting the prevailing ban on sale of energy outside the State.

The Central Power Ministry should strengthen the transmission infrastructure in Tamil Nadu to link it better with the national grid to enable easy power evacuation.

The Association has urged the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to restore incentives such as accelerated depreciation and generation-based incentive to those investing in wind mills. With the Government doing away with the incentives since April 2012, official statistics show that just 36 MW of wind mill capacity has been added in April as compared with 200 MW in the same month last year.

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