United Nations Environment Global (UNEG) Chief Erik Solheim has informed that the UN was seriously considering to give official approval to the Solar Project at the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL).
“I really want to go around the world and speak about the success story of CIAL. If an airport in Kerala can do this, why can’t others across the world come up with such projects,” he told the media on the sidelines of his visit to CIAL on Saturday. The visit was aimed at learning more about the airport’s green initiatives.
Suggesting that a placard be kept at the airport showing the UNEP’s endorsement of CIAL as the world’s first solar-powered airport, Mr. Solheim said he would work out the modalities of recognising the achievement with CIAL managing director V.J. Kurian. “Let’s see how we can do it,” he added.
Praising the airport authorities for growing vegetables in the area covered by photovoltaic panels, Mr. Solheim pointed out that the world needed pioneers who could drive change and make it a better place to live. “You can always say we made it [solar-powered airport] first. When you want to do something, you need pioneers and not followers,” he said.
Maintaining that solar power helped in reducing pollution, the UNEP Executive Director said it was good for fighting climate change. “Solar energy is good for the environment and Mother Earth,” he observed.
An official release by CIAL said it had made considerable monetary savings through its solar power plants. The airport now generates 0.125 million units of power a day from its eight power plants with a total installation capacity of 30 MWp. It will be scaled up to 40 MWp by July 2018, the release added.
Mr Kurian, who was also in the media conference said that it was great honour to the CIAL for getting approval by the UN for the projects implemented by the CIAL.