The Ministry of Railways on July 13, 2020 announced its intention of going completely green by 2030. The ministry announced that the strategy was in line with their target of achieving net-zero carbon emission with initiatives that will involve the electrification of the railways, and improve energy efficiency, amongst many others. The railways has taken a number of initiatives towards combating climate change and mitigation of global warming to achieve this goal.
(Sources: ddnews/gov.in and timesofindia.com)
Its plan includes:
·electrification of the railways
·improving energy efficiency of locomotives, trains, and fixed installations
·acquiring green certification for stations/installations
·fitting bio-toilets in coaches
·switching to renewable sources of energy
At present, 100 Mega Watt (MW) of solar plants have been commissioned on roof-tops of various buildings, along with 900 stations. Further, solar plants with a combined capacity of 400 MW are reported to be under different stages of execution. To achieve this, tenders have already been awarded for 245 MW, and it is likely that it will be accomplished by December 2022. Indian Railway stated that it has already completed electrification of more than 40000 Route km, in which 18605 km electrification work has been completed during the period 2014-2020. During 2000-2014, only 3835km electrification work was completed.
Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL), a Joint Venture Company of Indian Railways and RITES Limited has been mandated for proliferation of taking up the project. One project of 1.7 MW at Bina (Madhya Pradesh) in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has already been installed and is presently under extensive testing.
Indian Railways has taken up 3 GW Solar Project in three phases:
·In phase I - tender has been floated under developer model on 29th April 2020 for 1.6 GW capacities in railway plots for open access states.
·In Phase II - 400 MW capacities in railway plots will be developed for non-open access States the tender was floated on 16th June 2020.
·In Phase III - 1 GW capacity in railway plots along the tracks under developer model will be installed for open access states for which tender was floated on 1st July 2020.