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Clean energy still a far cry for small firms in Tamil Nadu

According to reports, small enterprises should look at climate change as a business opportunity. Growing uptake of solar power and wind energy in Tamil Nadu should be seen by fledgling entrepreneurs as new avenues opened by the shift to clean energy, said K. Gopalakrishnan, President, Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association.

“The role of small industry in solar power is negligible. They are mostly into automobile component manufacturing, plastics, electrical items, manufacture of transformers, and textile.”

He was speaking at an event to discuss the impact of climate change from an SME perspective, here yesterday.

“The foot valves used in water pumps in irrigation are seen to be key components in water and energy conservation. This can be new business for small firms.”

Energy-saving motors to run powerlooms in the textile industry, Light Tubes, which direct sunlight into the inner chambers of a building – much-sought in the hotel industry – and low-cost solar panels could be new avenues for business.

Incapacity to make the large investments is a major hurdle for small enterprises to take to solar energy. The lack of proper Government policy incentivising small firms into renewable energy is another dampener, according to Gopalakrishnan.

Energy audit as a service to manufacturing companies is another growing segment, said R. Vijayalakshmi, Additional Director, Tanstia-Fnf Service Centre, a joint venture between Tanstia and Friedrich Naumann Stiftung Foundation, Germany, to support small enterprises in the State. “In another two years, there will demand for company who conduct energy audits.”

Callous attitude of large corporations could deter small companies in taking to renewable power. “With a global wrangle on over which country should cut down how much on carbon emissions, there is much uncertainty among small firms whether clean energy is the way forward,” said Arivudai Nambi, Director, Climate Change Programme, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation.

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