‘People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument’ -Will Rogers
The Power of Observation
I believe observation is crucial to learning and evolving. During my visit to Vadodara, the cultural capital of Gujarat for a Bollywood jazzed wedding, I could not help but gaze at the seemingly long array of solar panels canopying a river canal. My home stay offered a direct view of the solar panels, and I was very much intrigued to find out more about them as would many who observe it.
Canal Top Solar Power Plant
A little bit of digging and I discovered that the solar panels installed by Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd in 2014 were the first of its kind of project.
One can see 10MW solar panels spanning across 3.4 kms above the canal transporting water from the Narmada Dam, glistening on a hot sunny day. This project generates huge amounts of renewable and clean electricity for the residents and nearby community.
This project in a town in India has received international praise as well as the UN Secretary General’s encouragement for solar energy –
“Looking out at the plant, I saw more than glittering panels—I saw the future of India and the future of our world,” Ban Ki-moon.
India’s Renewable Future
India has set their renewable energy target at the Paris climate convention to be 40% of total energy produced by 2030. Projects such as these only aid the country in inching closer to achieving this target.
With solar panels having a life span of around 25 years- more awareness, increased government and private support are required to increase their wide spread adoption and reduce capital costs of panels in the country.
Hope for the Future
This is an innovative method initiated by the State government to conserve land, reduce evaporation of the canal water by providing shade as well as moving towards renewable energy. By shifting towards solar energy, India is transitioning towards lowering their carbon emissions and reducing their reliance on imports of fossil fuels. With proper governance and planning, this energy could be used to help alleviate poverty in the country which makes me look forward to a promising future.
Images taken and owned by Sustainably Trendy