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Oct 12, 2009

Corporation keen in tapping solar energy ..

The Coimbatore Corporation plans to tap solar energy for its in-house uses and also to power street lights and other public utilities in a phased manner, Mayor R. Venkatachalam and Deputy Commissioner V. Shanta told presspersons on Tuesday.

As a first step, the Corporation would use the option of this renewable energy in its offices and then expand this across the city. Other renewable energy options would also be explored. The objective was to create a solar energy city, they said.The Corporation’s efforts towards this end were a part of a South Asian programme for local bodies on the use of renewable energy to prevent climate change.

The Coimbatore Corporation was among 53 South Asian cities (40 from India) to participate in a project called “The Roadmap of South Asian Cities and Local Governments for the post-2012 Global Climate Agreement. This was part of an initiative by International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) -- South Asia that was supported by the British High Commission in New Delhi.

ICLEI- South Asia’s Southern Centre Manager Soumya Chaturvedula explained the objectives of the initiative and the current situation and prospects in Coimbatore.Under this project, the Coimbatore Corporation shared information with ICLEI on energy consumption for street lighting, transportation, pumping of water and for residential and commercial purposes in the city. ICLEI studied the consumption pattern and came out with a City Energy Status Report that showed the consumption levels by various sectors and the resultant carbon emission level. Similar data had been collected from the other 52 countries to prepare a carbon emission inventory.

The findings on the situation in Coimbatore city were discussed with the Corporation at a workshop in Mysore in June this year. The city’s total carbon emission was put at 12.75 lakh tonnes. While the Corporation’s power use-related activities contributed 8,545 tonnes, the rest was contributed by the community. The per capita carbon emission in the city was 1.37 tonnes and this was below the national level of 1.75 tonnes.

ICLEI’s plans for the Corporation included energy-efficient systems for street lights, pumping of water and waste management. The Corporation would participate at a world level meet on this issue at Copenhagen in Denmark in December.

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