The Rise of Renewable Energy in Kerala
Kerala, as a State has been discussing Renewable Energy since some time now. In March, 2013, the huge range of renewable energy projects that featured in the State Budget announcement was met with much enthusiasm.
The discussions spanned plans of harnessing both wind and solar energy potentials.
In August, 2015 all of these discussions on Renewable Energy was taken several strides further as the Cochin International Airport became the first in the entire World to be completely solar power operational. With a 12 MWp solar power plant, consisting of 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres near the cargo complex,the airport will have 50000 to 60000 units of electricity per day to be consumed for all its operational functions.
This makes it“absolutely power neutral.”
Cochin International Airport Limited had stepped into harnessing solar power in March 2013. Today, it is poised to avoid carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants by more than three lakh tons, which is equivalent to planting 30 lakh trees or not driving 750 million miles over the next 25 years.
Simply put, Cochin Airport has invited a much required change in the way energy is generated and managed in such large high demand sectors. It is sure to be inspirational to policy and change makers across the World as we strive towards more sustainable measures to ensure holistic well being.
This rise of renewable energy in Kerala is not just limited to the Cochin Airport. In fact, as improved technology was made available at reasonable costs, Kerala as a State took the steps towards ensuring a key rise in the adapting of ways and means to harness Solar Energy across several districts.
The Kerala State Electricity Board (Keltron) has placed an order worth Rs 25.98 crore with the Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd in order toimplement a solar project in Kannur. This would mean the installation testing and commissioning of 3-MW grid tie canal top solar PV plant at Barapole, Kannur.
Moreover, Keltron is also executing a project worth Rs 4.3 crore from Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). This will bring about a 400 KWp grid tie solar PV Plant at the Padinjarethara Dam site, Wayanad.
Besides the above Keltron has already handed over to KSEB, a 96 KWp grid tie solar PV plant of Rs 1.13 crore, implemented on the roof top of tribal colony at Agali, Palakkad.
Executed by Power Electronics Group of Keltron, this is sure to affect both macro and micro levels beneficially as long term costs go down and comparatively clean environment and health benefits are felt in urban and rural areas..
As envisaged in the Kerala Solar Energy Policy, the use of solar energy is quickly becoming mainstreamed in an inclusive manner. As the capacity of the solar sector grows steadily if not exponentially, it is sure to provide energy security and independence for the State besides reducing carbon emission as well as increased job opportunities.
Thus, the rise of renewable energy in Kerala holds much promise to the State as well as being thoroughly inspiring and a learning experience for the rest of the country and in the case of the Cochin Airport, the entire World.