With elections around the corner, ask anyone in Tamil Nadu what their wish list is and uninterrupted electricity is sure to be right there at the top. The good news is that the state government is taking active steps to grant that wish through renewable-energy sources.
Tamil Nadu Goes Solar
60-year-old Narayanan lives in Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai and he has transformed the terrace of his three storey home/office into his personal solar-power hub. While it will take him another 6 years to recover his initial investment of 25 lakhs, he has already begun making massive savings on his electricity bills.
“Of course the investment is pretty heavy; we have installed solar panels that with a capacity of 32 kilo-watts. But so far, I have saved nearly 10 tonnes of carbon energy and I’m proud of that.” says Narayanan.
It helps that the state government is taking active steps to encourage the transition, including making it mandatory for all multi-storey apartments to install solar-power generation systems. The government is also determined to make all government and educational buildings completely solar powered and has already installed over 445 solar panels in 11 corporations and 124 municipalities across the state. Authorities are also working on installing roof-top solar panels on over 1,000 economically weaker section houses and is redesigning over 6,000 houses to be fitted with a solar-power generation system.
Are Developers Following Suit?
But as the Tamil Nadu government pushes ahead with its solar power agenda, are developers in the state doing their bit? Not really. Many of them are unclear about the long-term benefits of solar power and are worried about the high initial investments and whether residents will be willing to bear the additional costs.
That’s not all. While Tamil Nadu has been actively pushing more of its citizens to adopt solar power, proper solar-power storage facilities are currently not in place. For solar power to be a viable energy solution, a comprehensive plan needs to be devised where the energy can be stored and used at night.
If the state government can do that and the model is replicable, in a country with almost 300 days of sunshine a year, the sky is the limit when it comes to harnessing and benefitting from solar energy.
Reporter : Smitha TK, NDTV
Web Editor : Nikhil Narayan Sivadas, NDTV