Modi hands over India’s gift to UN: $1m Gandhi solar park

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Modi hands over India's gift to UN: $1m Gandhi solar park

NEW YORK: PM Narendra Modi formally handed over on Tuesday India’s gift to the United Nations: a $1 million Gandhi Solar Park.

Dwarfed by Manhattan’s skyscrapers, the 193 panels, each representing a UN member state, have been installed on the roof of the conference building at the UN headquarters here.
With a projected annual output of 86,244 kilowatt-hours per year (kWh/year), the panels will cut down the UN’s carbon dioxide emissions, currently equivalent to that released by 30,246 kg of burning coal. It is also equal to carbon sequesterisation from 1,008 tree seedlings grown for 10 years, stated an official release. The panels can reach a maximum 50 kilowatts of power generation. “This is the first time in the world that a UN building has installed solar panels on its rooftop. To meet its energy demands, the headquarters would use a combination of solar and existing energy sources,” officials said.

The solar park was inaugurated remotely by the PM and other world leaders by placing their hands on a glass globe during a high-level commemorative event marking Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.

India also gifted a Gandhi Peace Garden made up of 150 trees on a university campus in Old Westbury.

Addressing the gathering, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres thanked the Indian government for the solar panels.

While India’s gift to the UN was received well by energy experts in the country, some said it was not enough to fight the looming climate crisis. “Gifting panels to the UN is a great gesture but, at the same time, India continues to permit new coal plants despite renewable energy being the cheapest source of new electricity. It comes without the hazards of air pollution that coal entails. It’s time for the government to heed the secretary-general’s call to stop building new coal plants by 2020,” said Ashish Fernandes, a senior campaigner from Greenpeace.

The UN also released a stamp to commemorate the occasion and said more than 100 countries would be issuing similar stamps to honour Gandhi.

source- Times of India