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Coimbatore solar energy units in an upbeat mood

According to reports, manufacturing of solar energy-related products in Coimbatore is set to get a boost with the State unveiling a new solar energy policy and the solar energy equipment manufacturers here expect to clock a 15-20 per cent annual growth, according to the organisers of the ‘Renergy Coimbatore 2013’ show.

They expect the household segment to have a major share of the demand growth though smaller office units and the small scale engineering companies too are expected to become significant users of solar energy.

Speaking to Business Line here on Sunday, C. Muthusami, Chairman and K. Muthukumar, Vice-Chairman, of ‘Elektrotec 2013 & Renergy Coimbatore 2013’, said there were already about 100 units in Coimbatore engaged in the manufacture of solar panels and other accessories that go into a solar energy kit. Their annual turnover was about Rs 100 crore. This was set to witness a quantum leap with the State unveiling an ambitious solar energy policy that visualises installation of solar power generation capacity of about 3,000 MW by 2016. The State will also require HT power consumers to meet a certain portion of their power needs from solar power.

They said during the four-day show organised in association with Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA), about 120 participants including some from overseas would showcase their products, of which an overwhelming number would relate to solar energy. There will be demo stalls showcasing solar energy units for household purposes, to run small offices and small engineering industries.

Explaining the investment requirements of different segments for solar power, Muthusami said to meet the entire energy needs of a home-from running wet grinder to air conditioner – the maximum capacity required was 2 kw.

This might require an investment, after adjusting the subsidy provided by the Government, of approximately Rs 1.50 lakh.

For a small office unit having 10-15 computers, the power requirement would be 1-2 kw. For an engineering unit having one lathe, a drilling machine and tool grinder, the minimum power capacity needed would be 5 kw.

On the investment required for having the required solar power generation capacity, Muthukumar said installation of 1 kw of solar power generation capacity would require an investment of Rs 80,000-1 lakh. For a 10 kw solar power unit, the cost would be about Rs 6-7 lakh.

The benefit would be in generation cost. While captive power generation using diesel would cost about Rs 20/unit, the solar power generation would cost just about Rs 8-9.

They said the solar power equipment manufacturing units had a turnover of about Rs 100 crore in the region. Their annual growth was at about 15-20 per cent. This was set to witness a substantial growth because of the new solar energy policy announced by the State Government.

Muthusami expected that the solar power equipment manufacturing activity in the State will see a substantial investment with much of the demand growth coming from the household sector.

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