TN tops in green energy capacity addition; to reach 72 % of peak demand

Solar Rooftop systems
Solar Rooftop systems

In an election season, Tamil Nadu may be in the news of some populist schemes but the state has done a tremendous development when it comes to adding capacity of Renewable Energy (RE), which is projected to reach even 72 per cent of its peak demand by 2022, according a joint ASSOCHAM-Ernst & Young paper.

At present, the state has an installed capacity of over 8300 MW of non-conventional energy which is about 40 per cent of the total capacity installed including the conventional sources of thermal and hydro.  However, the problem remains about a huge gap between the installed RE capacity and its actual generation. Against the 40 per cent ratio of the installed capacity, the RE sources supply just about 14 per cent of the state’s peak demand, thanks to inadequate infrastructure to evacuate the power to the grid and the natural limitations.

All the same, the ASSOCHAM-EY paper pointed out that against peak electricity demand of 29,975 MW, the projected installed capacity of the RE resources would be 21,508 MW.

“Let us give credit to the state for a laudable work done in the area of non-conventional energy. The other progressive states in the area of RE are Gujarat, Rajasthan and Rajasthan. But the interest is still limited to a few states. If only rest of the states follow and exploit the abundant natural resources of wind, energy and bio-mass, India can be on top of the world league for green economy,” ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

Gauging the conventional capacity addition growth between 2014 and 2022, it is clearly seen that Tamil Nadu is adding capacity beyond its demand.  “This beckons for a robust market mechanism to accommodate RE power within the state and also explore market mechanism to trade its power to the RE deficit states,” the paper suggested.

Moreover, aggressive increase in the state RE capacity lucidly explains that the state should sufficiently use conventional capacity indigenously or through bilateral trade agreements for balancing the variable RE.

Even in rest of the country, the distribution of renewable energy is concentrated in a few regions of the country and this poses as a hurdle and at the same time opportunity. “While power needs to travel from one region to another, geographical distribution of RE in combination with the large Indian power grid offers the potential to smoothen RE fluctuations”.

Thus, the RE resources in the country are very unevenly distributed. This would result in certain RE rich states developing installed capacity which would exceed their peak load at certain times of the year.

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