Lights out cam­paign dis­ap­point­ing

Bangkok helps save very lit­tle en­ergy

Bangkok Post - - Front Page - By Apinya Wipatayotin

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.

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