India’s largest solar park approved by government
The largest planned solar park for India has been granted permission by the federal government for development.
The 5GW Dholera solar power park will be located in the state of Gujarat, on the west coast of India.
The park will be the first solar farm in the state following the Charanka solar park established under state policy.
The 11,000 hectare project was approved by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
It is anticipated to attract Rs 25,000 crore (US$3.7bn) in investment, with the first tender expected to be floated in June.
“The Govt Of Gujarat is happy to approve the establishment of India’s largest Solar Park in Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR),” the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupan, wrote on Twitter.
“The 5000MW Solar Park would be a giant leap towards fulfilling the ambitious goal of PM Sh @narendramodi to create 175GW of Renewable Energy by 2022,” he added.
The new solar project has been approved almost a decade after the nation’s first solar power park was established Charanka.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.