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Davos Agenda 2022

Davos 2022: Tamil Nadu focuses on green energy, US $1 trillion economy goal

Print edition : May 27, 2022 T+T-

Davos 2022: Tamil Nadu focuses on green energy, US $1 trillion economy goal

Tamil Nadu Minister for Industries Thangam Thennarasu described the state as an “economic powerhouse” which was among the “50 largest economies of the world.” | Photo Credit: Jothi Ramalingam B.

On the renewable energy front, Tamil Nadu’s installed renewable energy capacity is the ninth largest in the world with 5.3 GW in solar energy and 8.6 GW in wind energy.

Tamil Nadu had two main focuses at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos: making the dream of a US $1 trillion economy by 2030, and attracting green energy companies to the state.

In his presentations, on May 23, the Tamil Nadu Industries Minister, Thangam Thennarasu, an engineer by training, described the state as an “economic powerhouse” which was among the “50 largest economies of the world.” Outlining the vision of the state, he said: “We aim to transform the state into a US $1 trillion economy by 2030. The manufacturing sector will play a crucial role in helping us achieve our target.” The goal in this sector was to attract an investment of US $250 billion by 2030. “We have set out twin goals of attracting high value-added manufacturing companies to the State and equipping the state’s workforce with the skillsets needed to be industry ready,” he said.

Thennarasu made it clear that the vision had a base: “We have a diversified manufacturing base and leaders in sectors such as autos and auto components, electronics, machinery, textiles and leather, to name a few. As many as 130 of the global Fortune 500 companies across different sectors have a presence in our state.” He revealed that the state and WEF were working together to set up an advanced manufacturing hub, and undertaking Industry 4.0 maturity survey (to ascertain the preparedness of the manufacturing sector in Tamil Nadu). The state was in discussions with more than 50 firms on advanced manufacturing.

Noting that the US $250 billion growth in the manufacturing sector needed a clear pathway, the Minister that the state would seek out higher value add segments of the industry, establish research and development centres, and centres of excellence in collaboration with the industry, and support the sector with policy interventions that incentivize sustainable innovation and drive new technologies in micro, small and medium enterprises.

On the renewable energy front, Tamil Nadu’s installed renewable energy capacity is the ninth largest in the world with 5.3 GW in solar energy and 8.6 GW in wind energy. “Half of our installed energy capacity, 17.2 GW out of 33.8 GW, is from wind, solar, hydro, biomass and cogeneration,” he said, and added that state aimed to be the leader in renewable power generation. In solar energy alone, the state planned to add 20 GW in the next decade, he added.

Thennarasu told Frontline that he made it a point to highlight the state interventions during Covid which helped the industries run uninterrupted. This was to inform the industry that regardless of what adverse circumstances were thrown up, the state would help the industry in logistical requirements to ensure smooth operations.

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