The Cochin Airport in Kerala, India is now the first airport in the world to be completely supported by solar power. With a solar plant of 12 megawatt capacity, the airport will produce around 18 million units of power every year – which is equivalent to the yearly energy requirements of around 10000 Indian families. The bold project will reduce more than 300,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
This is an inspirational success, and very significant considering PM Narendra Modi’s vision of installing 100,000 megawatts of solar capacity in the country by 2020. Major impediments to the conversion into green energy for household consumption are the cost and quality of power. “We don’t have the [electricity] grid stability which can take the kind of power we are talking about” says Ashish Khanna, chief of Tata Power Solar.
However, seeing the surge in conventional electricity prices, solar power may well be the way to go. The Tyalgum community in New South Wales, Australia, is working on doing just that. It is now working on a model for becoming the first town in Australia to be energy self sufficient using solar energy. If all goes well, it will be a model worth replicating in countries around the world.