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Oct 27, 2012 at 09:47am IST

Power woes in Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa asks Centre to step in

Chennai: Tamil Nadu has been battling power cuts for almost 12 hours every day. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has now sought the Centre's help. Despite the state meeting 13 per cent of power from wind projects in 2011, this year, their capacity has dropped to a mere 150 megawatts. Ramesh Kymal, Chairman, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association, said, "Compared to more than 1,000 MW in 2011, we have done only 150 MW in the first half. I can assure you that between now and march we will have another 50 MW."

With projects like the Kudankulam power plant delayed, the deficit has become acute. The situation is so grim that the Chief Minister has sought Central assistance. She wants all the power from Kudankulam to be given to Tamil Nadu and an additional 1,000 MW from the national grid.

She has even rolled out a new solar energy policy hoping to set up new power plants to add 3,000 MW in the next three years. The government also wants to make it mandatory for SEZs, IT Parks and Colleges to meet 6 per cent of their power needs from solar power.

It's an ambitious plan. But given the present crisis and invariable delays, experts are sceptical about the new solar policy. Unless the state government acts fast to rectify some of these problems, chances are that Tamil Nadu's power shortfall of 4,000 megawatts will keep growing exponentially and this will probably leave the state powerless to fuel any growth.