Madurai: The Madras High Court bench on Wednesday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation petition, seeking a direction to Tamil Nadu government to distribute solar power equipment to people instead of fans, mixers and grinders being given free of cost to card holders eligible for drawing rice.
Justices R Banumathi and Rajendran said the court could not interfere as it was a policy matter of the Government.
Petitioner P Natarajan said distribution of solar equipment would encourage people to use alternative non-conventional energy sources and also help tackle the energy crisis faced by the State.
He also sought a direction to the government to appoint an expert committee to suggest ways to increase power generation through renewable sources of energy.
He said the State had the capacity to generate 10,230 MW through hydro and thermal power projects, but was generating only 8,000 MW. The demand for power was 12000 MW, the main reason being use of induction stoves, electric cookers and ovens due to hike in prices of LPG cylinders.
"Use of refrigerators, mixers, grinders, washing machines and other gadgets has increased. About 20 per cent of people owning houses had installed air-conditioners. Domestic consumption accounts for 27.15 per cent while industries consume 35 per cent of power generated. Twenty one per cent is for agricultural purposes and 10.5 per cent for commercial establishments," he said.
Claiming that about 1 KW could be conserved by every house fitted with a solar water heater, he contended there would be enormous energy savings if government made it mandatory for every household to instal solar power panels.Government could provide infrastructural facilities rather than meeting consumer needs, he said.
He said Tamil Nadu government had sanctioned Rs 1250 crore for free distribution of fans, mixers and grinders in 2011-12 fiscal. He also recalled remarks of a senior scientist of Johannes Kepler University in Austria wondering why it was not possible for India to tap renewable energy sources when even Germany had tapped renewable energy to a great extent.