Indian Railways bets on solar energy! In an attempt to turn into a Green mode of transportation, Indian Railways has solarised over 960 railway stations till date! This has been done by the national transporter to achieve the objective of becoming 100 per cent self-sustainable for all its power requirements as well as to contribute to national solar power goals. According to the Railway Ministry, orders have been placed for solar rooftop of 198 MW capacity of as many as 550 railway stations on the Indian Railways network, which are under execution. Besides, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is aiming to produce solar energy for meeting all its energy consumption requirements of more than 33 billion units by the year 2030. The current yearly requirement is about 20 billion units, the ministry said.
A few days ago, the national transporter has announced its plan to install solar plants of 20 GW capacity by utilizing its vacant land by the year 2030. Some of the railway stations that are solarised are Jaipur, New Delhi, Old Delhi, Kolkata, Howrah, Guwahati, Varanasi, Secunderabad, Hyderabad, etc.
The national transporter has vacant land of about 51,000 hectares and it is now ready to extend all support to the developers for setting up solar power plants on the vacant un-encroached land of Indian Railways. Moreover, by the year 2023, Indian Railways is also set to achieve 100 per cent electrification.
The Railway Ministry believes that the use of solar power will accelerate the mission of Indian Railways to become ‘Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway’. For this, Indian Railways has come up with a plan for setting up solar plants with a capacity of 20 GW by using its vacant land by 2030. A PSU of Indian Railways, REMCL (Railway Energy Management Company Limited) has already invited bids for 3 GW solar projects on vacant land parcels of railways and land parcels along rail tracks. These solar projects will supply power to the national transporter at reduced tariff and will also protect the land of Indian Railways by building boundary wall along the rail track.