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TN expects green energy corridor to expedite investment worth Rs 110 bn

Tamil Nadu is the top state in terms of variable renewables market share and installed renewable energy capacity, according to IEEFA

Gireesh Babu & T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

tamil nadu budget
Tamil Nadu Assembly during as the budget is presented.

The government is in talks with the central government to set up a dedicated Inter-State Green Energy Corridor to transmit the surplus wind energy to energy deficit states, to expedite the investments of around Rs 110 billion in renewable energy sector in the next three years. The net loss of the State discom TANGEDCO is expected to come down to Rs 29.75 billion in 2017-18, said the State Finance Minister O Panneerselvam in his budget speech on Thursday.

The Energy Development Agency (TEDA) is expected to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of India's Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) in order to develop the green energy corridor.

"This step is expected to expedite the investments to the tune of Rs 110 billion (Rs 11,000 crore) in the renewable energy sector over the next three years," he said.

The state government is implementing a Green Energy Corridor Project with an aid of German government owned development bank KfW at an estimated cost of Rs 15.93 billion, of which Rs 7.25 billion has already been spent. The government has allocated Rs 2.58 bilion for the project for the next fiscal year. Besides, the Transmission System Improvement Project is being implemented at a cost of Rs 50.14 billion with the assistance of JICA for upgrading the transmission capacity in the State.

With a 14.3 per cent share of India’s total wind and solar power generation in 2016-17, is the top state in terms of variable renewables market share and installed renewable energy capacity, according to a recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). Of the 97 tetrawatt hours produced in the year, the state accounted for 13.9 tetrawatt hours.

In terms of installed capacity, of the 30 Gw across as of March 2017, variable wind and solar power accounted for 9.6 Gw, or 32 per cent. Firm hydroelectricity added another 2.2 Gw or 7 per cent, nuclear 8 per cent and biomass and run of river three per cent. As such, zero-emission capacity is 50 per cent of Tamil Nadu’s total, added the study. In another report, 'Electricity Sector Transformation in India - A Case Study of Tamil Nadu', published earlier this month, the institute forecast that 67 per cent of the installed capacity and 56 per cent of the generation in would be derived from zero-emission technologies. At present, it is 42 per cent of total installed power generation capacity and 18 per cent of generation, making it one of the top states globally, behind only a few provinces in China and Texas in the US.

The government has said that the take over of Rs 228.15 billion debt from TANGEDCO in 2016-17 under the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) by the central government has improved the financial position of TANGEDCO. The net loss of the discom is estimated to come down from Rs 43.49 billion in 2016-17 to Rs 29.75 billion in 2017-18. For honouring the interest commitment of the State government, Rs 17.79 billion has been provided in the Budget Estimates 2018-19 and Rs 45.63 billion has been provided as grands for adjusting the loans given to TANGEDCO. As part of the UDAY scheme, the government has to take over 10 per cent of the losses suffered by TANGEDCO in 2017-18 in the ensuing financial year, Rs 2.97 billion has been allocated in the budget estimate. In the budget estimates 2018-19, the state government has allocted an amount of Rs 139.64 billion for the energy sector, indlucing Rs 75.37 billion as power subsidy for agriculture and other purposes.

First Published: Thu, March 15 2018. 15:23 IST