tv United Nations 21st Century LINKTV May 3, 2016 4:30am-5:01am PDT
[music] announcer: coming up on "21st century"... harnessing solar energy in india. from lebanon, women carve a new independence and shape their own destinies. and from a young filmmaker, protecting the planet through his passion for trees. the world's first canal top solar project. s.s. rathore: the state is located in a place where we get 300 days of suitable sunlight.
announcer: in india, 35,000 solar panels stretching almost 4 kilometers provide both jobs and energy to the poorest... announcer: and cut greenhouse gas emissions to curb the rise in global temperatures. narrator: gujerat in western india is steeped in centuries-old traditions. but today, it's leading a revolution in new energy technology. these changes have transformed the life of 23-year-old parth purmah, who lives in the city of dodara. growing up without his father
narrator: every company specializing in internet technology, parth's expertise, required a college degree. after 3 or 4 years of job hunting, parth was on the verge of giving up. then a new possibility opened up when a friend told parth about a company in the neighborhood that was hiring people to work on an innovative new solar power project, the first of its kind in the world. [indistinct chatter] narrator: that meant laying pipes for the steel structure to support the solar panels. within a year, with support from india's prime minister narendra modi, the company created the world's first canal top solar park. it stretches for some 3.6
kilometers over a canal that passes through the city of vadodara. rathore: the state is located in a place where we get 300 days of suitable sunlight. narrator: s.s. rathore is the chairman and managing director of sardar sarovar narmaga nigam, ltd. rathore: the wind position is also such which is favorable to solar production. narrator: rathore says it's the perfect mix to harness the sun's rays to generate power, boosting the state's electrical output and at the same time reducing its dependency on fossil fuels, which contribute to global warming. this has enormous implications in india, with its population at 1.3 billion and its hugely increasing energy needs. building a solar park without using up valuable land took creativity, says director of canals k.v. sangui.
k.v. sangui: the advantage over here is that we don't have to acquire the land. so we are using the canal top roof, which otherwise, i mean, has got no other use. we are using putting it to the use for the hydration, and, indirectly, you know, it's, uh, saving the water. this reduces, you know, evaporation. narrator: the solar park employs an array of 35,000 solar panels, generating 10 megawatts of energy. most of the energy is used to run the company itself, which initially depended on the national power grid for its energy supply. so now that power can be redistributed cheaply to the local community. and people like parth and his mother have improved and more reliable electricity.
narrator: on a larger scale, introducing solar power into india's energy mix has the potential to greatly reduce the level of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. [applause] in line with the commitment made by united nations member states at the climate summit held in paris to keep the rising global temperature below two degrees celsius. narrator: a.k. malik, chief engineer at gujerat's national grid, backs a global shift away from fossil fuels. narrator: now that the park has been completed, parth works as part of a maintenance crew,
narrator: parth realizes that solar energy is the wave of the future and specializing in this field could help him to fulfill his dreams. narrator: the success of the canal top project in vadodara has prompted the government of india to offer incentives to other states interested in building similar systems throughout the country.
announcer: coming up on a future episode of "21st century"... in china's guangdong province, recycling electronic waste, or e-waste, is a multi-million- dollar business. some 80% of the people who live in the city of gui earn a living by ripping apart old electronics, especially mobile phones and computers, and salvaging valuable components to sell on the lucrative e-waste black market. but the communication revolution brought about by these high-tech products also has a darker side. kaiser kuo: you know, we should really be mindful of nowadays pele get r of their old phones all the time. announcer: kaiser kuo is a director with baidu, china's largest internet search engine