Powerful state, powerless people

Shreenesh Raman


I am writing this blog post from Chennai far away from my work place (Thanjavur), under a decent lighting with my AC running at 21 degrees. However, my friends and folks out there are suffering from nearly 16 hours of power cuts in a 24-hour period.

Chennai'ites rejoice at the cost of TN people 

According to the TNEB State Load Despatch Centre report, the total generation capacity of the state is around 10,364.5 MW from both central and state government projects. We are able to generate only 7391 MW, which roughly translates around 179.889 Million Units.

This short fall of around 3000MW is due to various technical and political games played by various stakeholders in both the state and centre.  According to the state owned transmission company TANTRANCSO, the state is supposed to get 2481 MW from the central pool. Due to poor power transmission infrastructure, we are receiving 2100 MW. Moreover, the state requested 1000MW on short-term basis which the centre promised but unable to provide.

Presently, Tamilnadu has numerous power projects under development. On the other hand, highly controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant is also under development, from which the state would receive around 500 MW (Unit-1).

The main reason behind the massive power shortage comes out after various media houses debated hours together. It was in the  year 1989(My YoB) the last known power project by TNEB was completed (Mettur TPS). After which no major power project has been setup nor planned leading to a massive oversight of the industrial growth. Also, the regime change and fight for vote began with the era of coalition politics, electricity and bus fares turned to be the real scape goats.

Fortunately, both state firms are now under serious debt as planned by our voted representatives. Coming back to power situation, most private power projects announced in late 2007 turned to be a pure media publicity stunts. However, in realty the state has not even added 1MW of additional power.

Beleaguered white elephant

Ode to the West WIND!

The state pioneered in the eary 21st century by allowing private energy producers to setup close to 7000MW of wind power in some windy parts across Tamilnadu. The affair has turned to be a costly one, as changing wind patterns and out of gear climate has forced the state stall further wind power development.

The evacuation of power generated from the turbines is a major bottleneck. With most turbines present in a small area, lying between Valliyur in Tirunelveli district and Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district, the TNEB and 
the PGCIL has failed to ensure and upgrade the transmission facility.

Instead, the government can encourage wind power facility with turbine capacity of 1-1.25 MW in the open sea near Kanyakumari as the tip of the main land will facilitate wind from all three directions. Both South West and North East monsoon winds will benefit the people of the state.

Time to love Sunflower

Rain Rain go AWAY!!

After the much hyped and much failed attempt of owning a massive white elephant, the government has once again geared up for solar power revolution. “The term revolution itself brings hype, but realty is still in dark ages.” With the technology still, highly cost intensive, the state government has began evaluating plans to subsidies and provide funding for grid independent and grid connected network.

The government with all its political will (if it has any left out) must pass a law in the assembly demanding all new housing units under construction across the state to have provisions for solar panels. The government through such long-term solution will be able to reduce the stress on the state and central grid. Central government led Power Grid Corporation has constantly raised several complaints of poor maintenance of grid systems by state discoms will end if decongestion occurs.

Now some Do’s and Don’ts

Please rationalize power shut down across the state (including chennai)
Promote grid independent power systems for domestic and commercial power.
Subsidise and announce rebate on Green technology.

Please act steadfastly when it comes to power crisis.
The government must go behind every EPC contractor for delay in commissioning.
The govt must publish white paper on the work progress in power sector
Lastly, avoid dazzling lights along the length of the road during political meetings.



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