India's Aviation Minister calls for solar systems at all the country's airports


More positivity aimed at solar energy in India, as the Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju voices his support for PV systems being installed in all of the airports across India. It comes at a time when solar is growing in popularity in India, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi set a target of 100 GW solar capacity by 2022.

The minister has publicly announced that he asked all of the country’s airports to install solar PV units, after the success of the PV system at Kochi airport run by Cochin International Airport Limited and at the Delhi airport.

Kochi airport, in the southern Indian state of Kerela, became the first airport to be exclusively run by solar energy in August 2015, after the installation of a 12 MW system on its premises. The system, which cost an estimated US$9.54 million, produces enough electricity to meet the daily needs of the airport run by Cochin International Airport Limited, while a similar system has also been installed at the Delhi airport.

This is just one of the ways that India is trying to increase its reliance on solar energy, aside from simply installing large-scale solar farms. It looks as if rooftop solar could play an increasingly large role in the country’s proposed transition to a clean energy economy, as the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) announced a scheme in April 2016 to tender 500 MW of grid connected rooftop solar across the country.

One state that is specifically targeting the introduction of more rooftop solar is Gujarat, as it prepares to launch its Solar Rooftop project, which will encourage residential property owners to install new systems. The Gujarat Energy Development Agency has set a target of 50 MW of grid-connected rooftop PV capacity to be achieved through the initiative.