Commercial set-ups in parts of India are increasingly tilting towards renewable sources, such as wind power, to meet their energy needs. Retail outlets have also started exploring the green energy options with Chennai Silks recently installing a stand-alone, rooftop wind and solar power plant to generate electricity to operate one division of one of their showrooms.
According to K. Kasthoorirangaian, president of Indian Wind Power Association (IWPA), High Tension industrial consumers have opted for wind mills on a large-scale. Bigger retail outlets and commercial establishments can also look at the wind energy option for captive use.
Manufacturers of renewable energy equipment say that there are enquiries from industries and commercial establishments for renewable energy plants. Smaller wind mills that can be erected on the roof tops of commercial buildings to meet the power needs of the building require wind at a specific velocity to generate energy. Solar panels need direct sun light for about six hours a day. Since, installation of these plants can be expensive, the Government subsidies should be disbursed directly and on time to encourage more commercial establishments to go in for renewable energy, says the manufacturer.
According to M. Krishnan, President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, the association too organised a meeting to create awareness on renewable energy. The cost of these plants and the space required are the main challenges for commercial establishments. More technical information is needed to help the retailers and businesses go in for green energy. The industry and trade associations should initiate a joint programme so that those going in for these systems have cost benefit and guidance.
Most of the retail outlets and commercial establishments were now using generator sets when there is no power supply. The concept of alternative energy is just catching on. The individual efforts taken by some businesses can be expanded into an organised initiative with a joint programme, he says.