Thane named India’s Earth Hour Capital

Seoul declared the Global Earth Hour Capital, 2015

Published - April 09, 2015 11:45 pm IST - Mumbai:

An 11-member international jury has declared Thane the National Earth Hour Capital with the city emerging the winner from India in the Earth Hour City Challenge this year.

On Thursday, the city represented India in the Global Earth Hour Capital Competition of 16 countries in Seoul. The host city was declared the winner and acknowledged as the Global Earth Hour Capital 2015.

The year-long competition among cities is aimed at promoting renewable energy and preparing for climate change. In its third year in India, the contest had 13 participants.

Thane, Rajkot and Pune were the finalists from India. Pune received a special mention from the jury for its city mobility plan and its solar and waste-to-energy initiatives.

While all finalists were invited to the programme in Seoul, only the Mayor of Rajkot could attend the ceremony and was felicitated for the city’s performance in the field of renewable energy.

Last year, Coimbatore was selected as the National Earth Hour Capital.

The notable actions by the Thane city administration include the mandatory use of solar water-heating systems for municipal buildings and solutions such as wind-solar hybrid systems and use of solar energy for lighting and air-conditioning.

Besides, the city plans solar rooftop net metering-based power generation and regular energy audits.

Among the actions are an energy service company (ESCO) project for energy-efficient street lighting, commissioning of a bio-methanation plant to treat municipal solid waste and generate electricity and three cyclic switching units for optimal use of streetlights.

A five-year target has been set for developing a solar city project in the city.

“This is a reward for the work that this city has done in the field of renewable energy promotion and energy efficiency. We hope that the city will further enhance the work after this recognition,” said T.S. Panwar, director, climate change and energy, World Wide Fund, which works closely with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability in mobilising cities to join the challenge.

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