As you fly over Cochin, the airport stands out as a unique one, with around 46, 000 solar panels gleaming in the sunshine. The Cochin Airport became the country’s first airport to completely run on solar power, in August last year.
It started with a pilot project in 2013 to reduce its energy expenditure, installing 400 panels at the outset. Now, with the installation of a 12-megawatt solar power plant, it has not only become self-sufficient in its own power needs, but also supplies to the state power grid.
To put things in perspective, this amount of power is the equivalent of one year’s energy consumption of 10,000 homes, and would save fuel required to drive for 750 million miles.
This comes as encouraging news as PM Narendra Modi declared an investment target of $100 billion for renewable energy, and said that the share of solar energy in the entire power generation pie will be increased to 10% by 2022.
Following Cochin’s footsteps, the Kolkata international airport has also taken measures to increase its dependence on solar power.
With 300-odd days of sunshine every year, India has immense potential for solar energy. The price per unit for solar power now all but matches thermal power. With establishments as large as airports and as small as a cinema hall taking to solar power, we can soon expect commercial viability for domestic application of green energy as well!
Title image: qz