Magazine article Geographical

Clean Landings: India's Cochin Airport Claims to Be the First Completely Solar-Powered Airport

Magazine article Geographical

Clean Landings: India's Cochin Airport Claims to Be the First Completely Solar-Powered Airport

Article excerpt

With aviation being one of the world's largest contributors to climate change, attempting to change the environmental credentials of the industry is no mean feat But management at Cochin airport in southwest India is having a go, claiming it is the world's first entirely solar-operated airport.

Consisting of 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres (pictured left), the airport's on-site 12MWp solar power plant, opened in August, combines with pre-existing smaller solar panels to produce around 52,000kWh of electricity per day, enough to self-sufficiently run all current airport operations.

Although other airports already have some solar operations installed, such as in Denver, Copenhagen and Kuala Lumpur, none are entirely powered by these renewable energy supplies. However, while Cochin's announcement marks a noteworthy milestone for the aviation industry, the wider issue of aircraft emissions themselves remains unresolved.

'Flights are one of the most carbon-intensive activities that we do as human beings,' said Alice Bows-Larkin, Professor of Climate Science and Energy Policy at the University of Manchester, and Director of Tyndall Manchester, within the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. …

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