CEEW (Council on Energy Environment and Water) released a study on Wednesday that said that by the year 2025, the Indian Railways will be making use of renewable energy for about 25 percent of their energy consumption. The study also said that the railways will be achieving the goal of generating 5 Gigawatts of solar energy.
In order to meet the target of 5 Gigawatts solar energy, the Indian Railways, which is the national transporter, requires an investment of about 3.6 billion dollars.
Suresh Prabhu, the Railways Union Minister said that the team wants the Indian Railways to become a growing green engine and the stress will be laid upon decarbonisation, which is extremely important for the railways. The railways have set a target to electrify the entire railway network in the span of the next 10 years and about 90 percent of the electrification of the tracks must take place in the coming 5 years.
This information was given by Suresh Prabhu during the launch of the study by the CEEW, which is entitled Decarbonising the Indian Railways: Scaling Ambitions, Understanding Ground Realities.
The Indian Railways before this had started the execution of adding about 1000 Megawatts of solar facility along with 200 Megawatts of wind capacity for the power consumption and 36 Megawatts of this capacity has already been commissioned.
CEEW said that if the target of 5 Gigawatts of energy is achieved, then there will be a wide range of opportunities for the solar developers. 1.1 Gigawatts of this energy will be generated from the rooftop solar panels along with 3.9 Gigawatts from the utility scale projects.
Currently, the Indian Railways has tendered rooftop projects close to 255 Megawatts and 80 Megawatts of this has been awarded. Even in terms of wind energy, the railways are going to tender projects that are based on land and have the capacity of 250 Megawatts and 50 Megawatts out of this has been awarded already.
Under a mission called the Mission 41K, the railways have announced that they will be saving nearly 41,000 crores in the bills pertaining to energy consumption. They plan to achieve this target by electrifying the railway lines.
Another announcement by the Indian Railways stated that the RGPPL (Ratnagiri Gas and power Pvt. Ltd.) will be supplying about 500 Megawatts of power to the railways and a price of 5.5 rupees for each unit for the next 5 years.
The energy efficiency program has collaborated with EESL to reduce the consumption of power through lights also by making use of LEDs.