Lights out campaign disappointing
Bangkok helps save very little energy
Bangkokjoined 25 other major cities in a worldwide lights out campaign yesterday when shopping malls, business outlets and government offices turned off their lights for 60 minutes.
But the result was disappointing in Bangkok as the city managed to cut its energy consumption by only 165 megawatts and slashed emissions of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas, by 102 tonnes.
The figure was far less than City Hall’s 15-minute lights out campaign in May last year when Bangkok saved up to 530 megawatts of electricity and cut 143 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Yesterday’s Earth Hour campaign was co-organised by the WWF and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and had more than 30 government agencies and businesses taking part.
Millions of participants from Bangkok and the other 25 cities, such as Atlanta, San Francisco, Vancouver, Montreal, Dublin, Sydney, Copenhagen, Manila, and Tel Aviv, turned off their lights and unnecessary electrical appliances for one hour, from 8-9 pm, to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.
In Bangkok, the lights were switched off on six main roads—Silom,Yaowarat, Khao Sarn, Sukhumvit, Phetchaburi and Ratchadaphisek. Three of the city’s landmarks were also left in darkness, including the Temple of Dawn (Wat Aroon), the Rama VIII bridge and Ratchadamnoen Avenue.
According to the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, the electricity saved from the lights out move was worth about 500,000 baht and was equal to the electricity supply produced by the Pak Moon dam in one hour.
Assistant governor of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Banpot Sangkeo, said fewer people joined the lights out campaign than the previous one, possibly because they may have felt uncomfortable staying in the dark for up to 60 minutes.
‘‘However, the Earth Hour campaign is a wake-up call for Bangkok residents that we must do something to save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions,’’ he said.
Deputy Bangkok Governor Banasopit Mekvichai, who presided over the event in place of Governor Apirak Kosayodhin, said City Hall would continue its campaign to create environmental awareness among city residents.
Photos by PRAWAT LAOPAISARNTAKSIN and PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD ABOVE AND BELOW A bird’s eye view from the top of the Arnoma Hotel, opposite the CentralWorld shopping mall, shows skyscrapers in central Bangkok with their lights turned off (below) from 8pm...
INSET Two women chat while the lights in their house in the Ram Inthra area are turned off for one hour for Earth Hour.