Solar power is a major pillar of the Indian Railways’ plans to go green and self-sufficient in its energy supply as it targets 100% electrification by the year 2023. The ministry says it wants 20 GW solar power capacity by 2030 for the Indian Railways. (Photo Credit: TaiyangNews)
- Indian Railways aims to have 20 GW solar power plant capacity by 2030
- It has promised all possible help to developers in installing this capacity on its vacant, un-encroached land
- Developers will also be required to construct and maintain a boundary wall along the track to prevent encroachments and trespassing on tracks
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The Indian Railways has revealed its mega plan to install 20 GW solar power plant capacity by 2030 on its vacant land under its overarching mission to turn into a Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway. With the help of solar power, Indian Railways believes it will become the world’s first transport organization to be energy self-sufficient, making it green and Atmanirbhar or self-reliant, a campaign launched by the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the COVID-19 period.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Railways through the government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) states that the Indian Railways plans to achieve 100% electrification by the year 2023 and by 2030 it is expected to consume over 33 billion energy units from its current annual requirement of about 21 billion units.
In an interaction with solar power project developers, the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, who was previously heading the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), said the ministry will extend all support to the developers for installing solar power plants on the Railways vacant un-encroached land. Developers will also be required to construct and maintain a boundary wall along the track to prevent trespassing on tracks.
Installing solar power on vacant land will also save it from further encroachment, the minister had previously stated (see NLC India To Set Up Plants On Railway Land).
The Indian Railways has already employed the services of Railway Energy Management Company Ltd. (REMCL) to bid out 3 GW solar power capacity of which it has solicited bids for 2 GW to be set up in various states (see Tender For 1 GW Solar Capacity For Railways In India).
“A pilot project of 1.7 MW capacity with direct connectivity to 25 KV traction system has been successfully operationalized in Bina. In addition, a solar plant of 3 MW capacity has also been commissioned at Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareli for non-traction applications,” the ministry added. “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.”
In 2017, a non-profit policy research institution, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) came out with a report stating that the Indian Railways can achieve 5 GW solar power capacity by 2025, to come from 3.9 GW of utility scale solar and 1.1 GW of rooftop capacity (see 5 GW Solar By 2025 For Indian Railways).