The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has recognised Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) in Kerala as the world’s first fully solar energy-powered airport. CIAL is India’s first airport to be constructed in public-private-partnership (PPP) model in 1999. It is the busiest and largest airport in the state of Kerala. It is only PPP airport in the country that has handled more than 5 million passengers in year. The airport has 15 MWp solar power plant near the cargo complex of airport comprising 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres.
The solar power plant generates 50,000 units of electricity daily. It makes airport absolutely power neutral in terms of energy consumption as it consumes around 50000 to 60000 units of electricity per day. The plant system is without any battery storage as it is directly connected to the grid.
The airport’s green power project does not result in any carbon dioxide emissions. It also produces clean source of energy equivalent to non-clean energy produced from coal fired power plants by burning more than 3 lakh metric tonnes of Coals. This plant is also equivalent to planting 30 lakh trees.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. It was founded as result of United Nations Conference on Human Environment in June 1972. It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP also has six regional offices and various country offices.
UNEP acts as catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote wise use and sustainable development of global environment. It works with wide range of partners, including UN entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, private sector and civil society.