"Indian railways plans for green mode of transportation by 2030"

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Posted: January 18, 2021,

Indian railway is one of the largest rail networks in the world - carrying an estimated 8 billion passengers each year, and over one billion tonnes of freight per year.

More than 23 million passengers across India use train services every day.

Indian railway spends 25% of its income on energy bills amounting to USD 5 billion. It consumes 13.8 billion kWh of electricity rising by 5% every year of the country’s total electricity consumption.

In order to achieve its objective of becoming 100% self-sustainable for all its power needs and also to contribute to national solar power goals, Indian Railways has solarised more than 960 stations to date and 550 more stations to be solarized soon. Indian railway's main agenda is to become a “net-zero carbon emitter” before 2030.

Indian Railways is set to produce solar energy for meeting all its energy consumption needs of more than 33 billion units by 2030. The current annual requirement is about 20 billion units.

Indian Railways has a mega plan for installing solar plants of 20 GW capacity by utilizing its vacant land by 2030. About 51,000 hectares of vacant land available with Indian Railways and is now ready to extend all support to the developers for installing solar power plants on Railway’s vacant un-encroached land and also to install solar panels beside the railway tracks. Indian Railways is using their vacant land, buildings, and roof at platforms and train coaches to install solar panels. It may be noted that Railways is also set to achieve 100% electrification by the year 2023.

Indian Railways is committed to utilize solar energy for meeting its traction and non-traction power requirement and become a complete ‘Green mode of transportation’. The use of solar power will accelerate the  Railways’ mission to achieve the goal of becoming a ‘Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway’. 

Benefits to Indian Railways and country at large:

  • This will attract billions in private investment for the Indian Railways, and increase the solar power generation capacity five-fold against Railways target of 1 GW.
  • Reduce coal used in power generation by 4 million metric tonnes.
  • Reduce emissions by 10 million tons of carbon dioxide.
  • Create thousands of clean energy jobs and generate US$ 4 billion in private investment.
  • Contribute 5% to the Nationally Determined target of 100 GW of solar deployment by 2022

Indian Railways being fully functioning on solar power would boost up the Indian economy by saving the electricity expenditure which is about USD 5 billion or more at the time of 2030.