It’s almost too pathetic for words. The world is moving forward with green energy from renewable resources, while politicians – paid by the highest bidder – continue to debate antiquated forms of fossil fuel energies.
Commencing use of wastelands in northern districts and rooftops in towns and cities, the Indian city of Gujarat is now using the existing 19,000 km-long network of Narmada canals across the State to set up solar panels.
Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the region, inaugurated the first in a series of these projects, known as the Canal Solar Power Project.
Some of the first of such projects included a 214MW Solar Power Park, which was, at the time, the largest such generation centre at a single location in Asia.
The Azure Power company, an independent power producer in solar sector, further announced a 2.5 MW rooftops project in Gandhinagar. But now the existing pilot projects have been developed on a 750-m stretch of the canal by Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL). This project has been supported by the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL), which owns and maintains the canal network.
In all, 11,000 acres of land can be potentially conserved and nearly 2,000 crore litres of water can be saved per annum using this solar canal. That is all icing on the cake when we consider just how much energy this project will produce long term.