Why is it in the news ?

Cochin Airport has become the first fully solar powered airport in the world and now, other airports in India are taking cue and following suit.

Significance of Solar Energy Adoption

  • The 40 MW of solar energy (as of November 2018) has reduced the airport’s carbon footprint significantly, which would roughly be equivalent to planting 9 million trees or not driving 2,400 million miles. 
    • A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases—primarily carbon dioxide—released into the atmosphere by a particular human activity.
  • The airport would be in the clear with its capital cost in a little over seven years. 
    • This would give the airport a  free source of generation within its premises (barring a meagre operation and maintenance costs)
  • It is a prudent step towards inspiring other airports in the country to adopt similar strategies for reducing their carbon footprint and achieving sustainability.


Net Metering

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits Solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid.

  • Under this, excess energy generated during the high irradiation periods, typically during the day, can be exported to the grid and utilised later by the airport in periods of low generation, typically nighttime and overcast days.