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| Last Updated:: 30/01/2018


Power sector is the most important sector among various infrastructure sectors in the country. Energy security and environmental Sustainability are vital to our future. Energy security is very important for economic growth.  Renewable energy sources are essential in view of the depleting nature of conventional energy resources. Electricity is a critical infrastructure for sustainable growth of economy. Power development is an important input for the States Industrial, Commercial and Socio economic growth. For this, the availability of affordable, reliable and quality power is necessary. Therefore, adequate provision has to be made for augmenting power supply to bridge the gap between demand and supply as well as to meet the increasing future demand. Keeping this in view, Government is giving utmost importance to power sector in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu has one of the best power utilities in the country and the power sector in the State has grown manifold in capacity generation. All the villages and the towns are fully electrified. Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) is responsible for power generation and distribution. Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Limited (TANTRANSCO) is responsible for transmission of power. Further, the electricity network has been extended to all villages and towns throughout the State and all the villages in the State are 100% electrified.
 Present Status of Demand – Supply: 
           The present average demand of power in the State is around 13500 MW. It is expected to go upto 14,000 MW by the end of 2016-17. This demand will be met by generation from existing power stations and power projects to be commissioned in the year 2016-17.  At present this deficit is managed through power purchase and Restriction and Control measures. TANGEDCO is taking several steps to bridge the gap between demand and supply to provide uninterrupted power supply to the consumers. 
The State is blessed with various forms of renewable energy sources. The environment-friendly renewable energy sources are perennial in nature, available locally and quite suitable for decentralized applications. The important renewable energy sources are as follows:
• Wind Energy (including offshore wind)
• Solar Energy
• Biomass and other forms of bio energy
• Small Hydro
• Tidal Energy
• Ocean Thermal Energy
Among the above mentioned sources, the first three renewable energy sources, viz., wind, solar and bio energy are being harnessed in a big way in India and also in Tamil Nadu. With a view to develop and propagate the non-conventional sources of energy, the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) was formed. Apart from serving as a coordinating agency to promote and harness the use of renewable energy sources, TEDA acts as nodal agency to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India to implement centrally funded and sponsored schemes in the state.
Present Scenario – Renewable Energy Sources
Tamil Nadu is a leader in Renewable Energy. At present, the total installed capacity of renewable energy including solar, wind etc., is 10,480 MW. In the last wind season, the State has harnessed around 13,000 Million Units of energy from wind generators, which is an all time record. Also, the State has harnessed around 1,644 million units of energy from solar generators during 2016-17. Proactive steps are being taken to maintain this prominent position in renewable energy.
In the State, the contribution to the installed capacity is highest from wind energy, followed by biogases-based cogeneration plants in sugar industries. This has largely come through private investments encouraged by policy initiatives of the Central and the State Governments.
Solar Energy
            Tamil Nadu has a very good solar potential with 300 clear sunny days as it receives very high solar radiation. The Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) technology which enables the direct conversion of sun light into electricity has several distinct advantages, since it does not have moving parts, produces no noise or pollution, requires very little maintenance and can be installed anywhere. These advantages make them an ideal power source for use especially in remote and isolated areas which are not served by conventional electricity, making use of ample sunshine available in the State. SPV technology provides for decentralized installations thereby minimizing the need for transmission infrastructure.
Tamil Nadu has total solar installed capacity of 1702.40 MW as on 31.05.2017. Considerable quantum of solar generation is being realized during day time to a tune of around 800 MW to 1200 MW. The State has harnessed around 1,644 million units of solar energy during 2016-17. Further, an all-time high generation of 1498 MW and the all time maximum energy of 9.40 Million Units has been harnessed from solar generators on 27.03.2017. It is proposed to increase the solar power installed capacity by further 5000 MW in a phased manner in the forthcoming years. In this regard a tender has been floated for the procurement of 1500 MW under reverse bidding route.
Wind Energy
Wind energy is one of the cleanest renewable sources of power. The potential area that are suitable for establishment of wind generators are mostly confined to the southern (Aralvoimozhi pass and Shengottai pass) and south western (Palghat and Cumbum pass) parts of the State. Total installed capacity under wind mill generation is 7470.86 MW. Tamil Nadu tops in harnessing resources of energy among all Indian States of the installed capacity, thus making it a clear leader in the wind energy sector. 
Tamil Nadu is a pioneer in promoting wind energy in the country, with an installed capacity of 7854.81 MW as on 31.05.2017 and which is the highest wind power capacity in the country and contributes to about 28.43% of the country‟s total installed wind power capacity. Also the State has harnessed around 13,000 million units of wind energy during 2016-17, the highest so far. Further, an all-time high generation of 4957 MW on 05.06.2017 and the all time maximum energy of 99.46 MUs on 30.05.2017 has been harnessed from wind generators. It is proposed to increase the wind installed capacity by further 4500 MW in a phased manner in the forthcoming years. As Tamil Nadu is already having a huge installed capacity of wind power which satisfies the State‟s Renewable Energy Purchase Obligation (RPO), it is in a position to sell wind power to the other needy States who require this power to fulfill their RPO. During the last wind season around 120MW of wind power has been scheduled daily to Odisha as sale of green power. Similarly efforts are being taken to schedule around 500MW of green power daily to the needy States.
Biomass Energy
Bio-mass produced by green plants through photosynthesis using sunlight, contains organic matter which could be converted to energy. Biomass can be obtained by raising energy plantations or may be obtained from organic waste. The biomass resources can be used in bio-energy technologies viz., biogas, gasifier, biomass combustion, cogeneration, etc., to produce energy-thermal or electricity. Biomass can be used in three ways – one in the form of gas through gasifiers for thermal applications, second in the form of methane gas to run gas engines and produce power and the third through combustion to produce steam which drives a turbine to generate electricity.
Biomass power & cogeneration programme is implemented with the main objective of promoting technologies for optimum use of country’s biomass resources for grid power generation and captive power production.  Biomass materials  used for power generation include juliaflora, bagasse, rice husk, straw, cotton stalk, coconut shells, soya husk, de-oiled cakes, coffee waste, jute wastes, groundnut shells, saw dust etc.
Grid connected Biomass Gasifiers in the state
  • M/s. Sri Saastha Energy Pvt Ltd, Vellore – 0.5 MW (2010)
  • M/s. Arasi Hitech Bio Power Pvt Ltd, Coimbatore – 1 MW (2003)
A combustible gas (composed primarily of methane) produced when Organic waste, sewage or manure is fermented in the absence of oxygen. The solid material that remains in the digester after fermentation can be used as an organic fertilizer. Biogas – a gas mixture of methane, carbon dioxide and small quantities of hydrogen and hydrogen sulphide – is created under air exclusion through the fermentation of organic substances with microorganism assistance. Biogas is a gas mixture, consisting of approximately 40 to 75 % methane (CH4),  25 to 60 % carbon dioxide (CO2), and approx. 2 % of other gases (hydrogen, hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide).
Advantages of Biogas
  • No smoke ,  Clean Fuel
  • Produces organic manure for a sustainable agriculture
  • It reduces fossils fuels Dependency


Grid connected Waste to Energy Plants
  1. M/s. Shubashree Bio Energy Pvt Ltd – 2.5 MW
  2. M/s. G.K.Bio Energy Pvt Ltd – 1.5 MW
  3. Vegetable waste based power plant at Koyambedu Vegetable Market, Chennai –        0.25 MW
  4. M/s. IOT Mabagas Ltd. – 2.4 MW
 Source: policy note:   2016-2017 and Energy Department –TANGEDCO,TEDA