Tamil Nadu shows signs of losing its footing in wind energy

Chennai: Tamil Nadu may find its pole position in captive wind energy under threat as companies are reluctant to add to capacity nor is the sector attractive enough for third-party wind power developers.

That could see the state falter in its bid to add 6,000 megawatts (MW) of wind energy capacity by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2016-17) to take it to 13,000MW from 7,162.3MW now.
Gujarat and Maharastra, which are a distant second and third in the rankings, could take advantage of this to gain on Tamil Nadu, experts said.
Madras Cements Ltd, the second largest cement maker in south India, has a wind energy capacity of 159MW. It doesn’t intend to add to this, but will instead invest in thermal energy, said a senior company executive who didn’t want to be named.
It costs Rs.5 crore to set up 1MW of thermal energy capacity and Rs.6 crore for equivalent wind energy capacity, according to Amol Kotwal, deputy director of energy and power systems at Frost and Sullivan, a business consulting firm. Inadequate infrastructure, delayed payments, and lack of incentives are discouraging further investment in the sector, critical for a power-deficient country that needs to boost energy capacity.

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