According to reports, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Consumers’ Association (TECA) has said that its members favour development of solar energy in the State. However, the development should come through incentives from the Union and State Governments and not by imposing the cost on some sections of consumers.
Association president D. Balasundaram has said in a press release that it welcomed the initiatives of the State Government in promoting solar energy. However, it had opposed the solar purchase obligation of six per cent for high tension (large-scale industries) and low tension commercial consumers as the units were complying with the renewable energy purchase obligation of 2010. The units had to have nine per cent of their total power purchase from renewable energy sources. Further, several consumers had invested in wind energy and biomass energy. The solar purchase obligation would be an additional burden on the consumers.
The obligation would make the industries uncompetitive as the power cost would go up for these industries. If the units need to have six per cent of the energy requirement from solar, they required 4,000 million units of solar energy in 2014-15. This required an installed solar energy capacity of more than 1,500 MW. The existing solar energy capacity was less and would not be able to meet the required demand. Further, in States such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, the solar purchase obligation was less than one per cent while it was six per cent in Tamil Nadu.
In 2012, the industries in the State were hit by power shortage and solar energy was one source that could be tapped for early solution. The association would continue to work with the State Government for development of solar energy in the State.