Tamil Nadu Reclaims No. 1 Spot for Renewable Energy

Tamil Nadu Reclaims No. 1 Spot for Renewable Energy

Tamil Nadu has recently made it to the top of the list of Indian states ranked as per their overall installed renewable energy capacity, seizing the position from Karnataka. Interestingly, the latter toppled Tamil Nadu in 2018 to become the leader in total installed capacity in the clean energy sector, following big capacity additions in solar and wind power.

In the latest listing by the Union ministry of new & renewable energy (MNRE) in generation of renewable energy, Gujarat (15,517MW), Rajasthan (14,982MW), and Maharashtra (10,629MW) follow Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

While in January 2019, Karnataka’s total renewable capacity was 13,402 MW, and Tamil Nadu’s total capacity was 12,125 MW, as of January 31, 2022, Tamil Nadu’s total capacity stands at 15,914 MW as compared to Karnataka’s total capacity of 15,795 MW, shows MNRE data.

Although renewable energy includes hydro, co-generation and biomass, the bulk of Tamil Nadu’s numbers come from wind installed capacity of 9,856.9MW and is fourth in solar power with a capacity of 4,894.5MW.

Renewable energy accounts for at least 30% of the state’s total power consumption on any given day, the highest among the states. There is potential to expand. But there is also a challenge in the form of grid balance during peak demand.

Among recent announcements about the state’s renewable plans is Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation’s (Tangedco) plans to install solar power plants of 20,000 MW capacity at an cost of Rs 70,000 crore by 2030.

This step is reportedly being undertaken to reduce the quantum of power purchased from private companies, to increase the renewable energy resources, and to reduce the state’s carbon footprint. Cost of installing 1 MW of solar power will be around Rs 3.5 crore.

Global investors, especially those from Europe, Japan and the US, are backing anything that relates to sustainability. Tamil Nadu, which is aggressively pushing itself as a destination for overseas investments in manufacturing, has the opportunity to expand its renewable energy basket in a sustained manner.

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