India’s canal-top solar plan gets glittering launch

Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the UN, has inaugurated another section of the Canal Solar Power Project, India’s plan to install photovoltaic panels above canals in the north-western state of Gujarat. 

The plan was begun in 2012 by India’s present prime minister, Narendra Modi, when he was chief minister of the state. The canal network, which is based on the Narmada River, is some 19,000km long, so the extent of the project is potentially immense.   

Ban said: "I saw more than glittering panels – I saw the future of India and the future of our world. I saw India’s bright creativity, ingenuity and cutting-edge technology. And I saw the leadership on sustainable development of Prime Minister Modi when he was the chief minister in Gujarat." 

This 10MW project covers 3.6km of the Vadodara branch canal, and will pass through Sama and Chhani localities. The development cost $18.3m. 

Some 35,000 solar panels will generate power for the state grid the canal’s pumping stations. On a sunny day they will produce 50MWh of electricity. 

The particular advantages of installing solar panels above canals is that they do not take up agricultural land and improve irrigation by reducing evaporation loss. 

Mr Modi recently announced plans to build a $4bn solar panel factory in Gujarat. 

Modi’s government last year set a target of installing 100GW of solar capacity by 2022. It has said that more than $100bn could be spent on combating climate change. 

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  1. ” Its not what we have that makes any difference at all ! – No! Its rather what we actually Do with what we have that can make all the difference in lifting our world out of poverty and want!! ” Thus is India and other
    highly populated countries leading the way to so many impoverished nations to follow their example by thus creating meaningful, life saving, employment and thus much needed economic development so long denied them!

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