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Wind mill investments fall in Tamil Nadu

According to reports, Tamil Nadu, which has the highest installed wind energy capacity in the country, does not seem to be an attractive destination for new investments in wind mill installations this year (2013-2014).

Investments in additional wind mill installations in the State were for 113 MW between April and December 2013 as against 165 MW in 2012-2013 and over 1,000 MW in 2011-2012. States such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have higher number of new installations this year.

According to K. Kasthoorirangaian, chairman of the Indian Wind Power Association, there might not be any significant investment during the next three months of the financial year (January to March, 2014) in the State. Till 2012, Tamil Nadu was leading in attracting new investments.

Installations declined during the last two years (2012-2013 and 2013-2014) as investors have lost confidence, he says.

Last year, arrears to be paid to the wind mill owners for energy supplied to the grid were pending for several months. Though it was cleared this year, evacuation dropped.

“We lost 40 per cent energy during the windy season this year compared to last year because of fall in evacuation,” he says. Despite availability of wind and grid connectivity between May and September (wind season in the State), evacuation decreased from June to August, 2013 compared to the same period the previous year.

Earlier, industries in other States used to invest in the wind energy sector in Tamil Nadu. This year, even the industries here have moved out to other States. If the new installations across the country were for about 1,000 MW, nearly 700 MW will be by the industries here and these are in other States. In Maharashtra, the investors get Rs. 5.80 for a unit of wind energy supplied to the grid as against Rs. 3.51 a unit in Tamil Nadu, he says.

The State has installed wind energy capacity of more than 7,100 MW. The State Government envisages additional installation of 5,000 MW during the XII Plan period.

The challenges faced by the sector now need to be addressed for installations to gain momentum in the State again, he said.

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