The Indian Railways has drawn up a plan to install a massive 20 gigawatts of solar power capacity on its own land by the year 2030. This is part of the national transporter’s plan to become a Net Zero Carbon Emission organisation.
Also planned is 100% electrification of the entire Indian Railways network by 2023. Annual energy consumption of IR today is 21 billion Kwh, which is expected to cross 33 billion Kwh by 2030. The solar installations are expected to help IR meet its needs.
The Railway Ministry has held wide ranging discussions with the solar power industry to this end. Key focus was on innovative solutions to setting up solar installations along railway tracks, routes to reaching the 20-gigawatt energy target and key challenges.
Participating in the meet were energy sector players like Adani, ACME, NTPC, Renew Power, Hero Future Energies, Greenko Group, Azure Power, Tata Power, Avaada, SPRNG Energy and Vikram Solar.
Shifting to Solar
IR recently commissioned a pilot project of 1.7 MW capacity with direct connectivity to 25 KV traction system at Bina. Another three megawatt plant has been installed by the Modern Coach Factory for non-traction consumption.
Besides this, bids for installation of three gigawatts of solar capacity have already been invited by IR subsidiary Railway Energy Management Company Ltd (REMCL).
Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal assured support from IR to solar plant developers, according to a statement released by IR.
Indian Railways set to meet all it’s energy consumption needs of more than 33 billion units by 2030. Current annual requirement is about 21 billion units.
Solar Power Developers Meet organized by Indian Railways
Indian Railways to extend all support to the developers for installing solar power plants on Railway’s vacant un-encroached land.
Leading Solar Power Developers attended the meet and shared their expectations of being partners in the journey of Indian Railways to become “net zero carbon emitter” before 2030.
Railways set to achieve 100% electrification by the year 2023.
Indian Railways has a mega plan for installing solar plants of 20 GW capacity by utilizing its vacant land by 2030.
Indian Railways is on track to being ‘Atma-Nirbhar’.
In order to achieve its objective of becoming 100% self sustainable for all it’s power needs and also to contribute to national solar power goals, Indian Railways organized wide ranging discussions with key stake holders under the chairmanship of Minister for Commerce and Industry and Railways Shri Piyush Goyal.
It may be noted that Indian Railways is committed to utilize solar energy for meeting its traction power requirement and become a complete ‘Green mode of transportation’.
The primary areas of discussion in this meeting were as follows:
1. Innovative solutions for setting up solar projects along the railway track
2. Possible power procurement routes for achieving 20 GW renewable energy target, set by the Indian Railways, to become the net zero carbon emitter by 2030
3. Challenges in large scale deployment of solar energy projects by the Indian Railways
The developers acknowledged the efforts of Indian Railways in leading the development of renewable energy in the country and expressed strong support to Indian Railways on the path of going green and achieving the net zero carbon emissions target by 2030.
This is in line with the recent directive of Hon’ble Prime Minister to solarise railway stations and utilize vacant railway land for Renewable Energy (RE) projects.
It will also contribute towards National Solar Mission, an initiative of the Government of India to promote solar power.
As a follow-up, it has been decided by the Ministry of Railways to provide solar power plants on vacant unused Railway land on mega-scale. A pilot project of 1.7 MW capacity with direct connectivity to 25 KV traction system has been successfully operationalised in Bina.
In addition, solar plant of 3 MW capacity has also been commissioned at Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareilly for non-traction applications. Further, 2 more projects – one at Diwana for 2 MW and another at Bhilai for 50 MW capacity for connectivity with State Transmission Utility (STU) and Central Transmission Utility (CTU) respectively are in progress.
The use of solar power will accelerate the Hon’ble Minister of Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal’s mission to achieve conversion of Indian Railways to ‘Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway’.
In order to achieve this, Indian Railways has developed a mega plan for installing solar plants of 20 GW capacity by utilizing its vacant land by 2030. With the ambitious plan of achieving 100% electrification for Railways by the year 2023, Indian Railways energy consumption is set to become more than 33 billion units by 2030 from its current annual requirement of about 21 billion units.
Indian Railways has adopted a multi-pronged approach towards decarbonization which would be fulfilled by the solar projects being deployed, making it the first transport organization to be energy self-sufficient. This would help in making Indian Railways green as well as ‘Atma-Nirbhar’.
In this regard, to begin with, bids for 3 GW solar projects on vacant Railway land parcels and land parcels along the railway track have already been invited by Railway Energy Management Company Ltd. (REMCL), a PSU of Indian Railways. These solar projects, besides supplying power to Railways at reduced tariff, will also protect the Railway land by construction of boundary wall along the track.
Hon’ble Minister of Railways pointed out that Indian Railways is willing to extend all support to the developers for installing solar power plants on Railway’s vacant un-encroached land. Boundary wall along the track will be constructed and maintained by developers which will also help in preventing trespassing on tracks.
Adoption of modern indigenous technology to create an energy self-reliant Indian Railways will contribute towards meeting India’s renewable energy targets and Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), as committed by our Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.
Hero Future Energies