Tamil Nadu Solar Policy: will it be enforced?

State aims to have same amount of solar as is now installed in all of India by 2014 Tamil Nadu has recently launched one of the most ambitious solar policies by any state in the country. It has mandated that all high tension consumers source six per cent of their energy usage from solar power by January 2014 through a Solar Purchase Obligation (SPO). High tension users are those that are connected directly to a high tension line with a voltage of over 33,000 volts or 33 kV. This includes large industries, special economic zones, colleges, residential schools and buildings with a built-up area of over 20,000 square metres. Domestic users, agriculture and other low tension consumers would be excluded from the SPO. The six per cent SPO will help the state harness 3,000 MW of total solar power by 2015. The stated reason for the solar policy is to increase supply of electricity in the state as coal reserves are dwindling and becoming increasingly expensive. The policy notes that conventional power is not able to keep up with increasing electricity demand. Tamil Nadu already has the highest wind-power capacity among Indian states and the policy reasons that the production curve of solar, which is more predictable than wind, can help stabilise the grid. While wind-power performs best in monsoon season when wind-speeds are high, solar performs best in non-monsoon season when solar insolation is high. Solar potential is also more evenly spread over the state. for full text:

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