Railways plan to use 200MW of wind energy and 1000 MW of solar said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday and stated that Railways can draw up to 25% of its electric power needs from renewables and achieve the target of 5 GW of solar power by 2025.
Indian Railways could draw up to 25% of its power needs from renewables and would need an investment of $3.6 billion to meet the 5GW target of solar energy by 2025, according to a study released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
We want Indian Railways to become a green engine of growth. Decarbonisation is extremely important for Railways. We have set up a target of electrifying the entire network of Indian Railways in next 10 years with at least 90% of track electrification in next five years,” said railway minister Suresh Prabhu. The Power Minister said Railways have come out with a commendable plan called “Mission 41K” where it is looking at a saving of Rs 41,000 cr. through the electrification of railway lines.
The 5 GW target provides a unique opportunity for solar developers, with an estimated 1.1 GW coming from rooftop and 3.9 GW from utility scale projects, the study said. “The Indian Railways is a guaranteed consumer and has a growing electricity demand, which should mitigate any perceived counter-party risks for project developers or investors,” the study added.
The Indian Railways announced its 1GW solar target in 2015 and had achieved about 37MW of wind and 16MW of solar across railway operations until March 2017. The Railways has also tendered close to 255MW of rooftop solar projects, of which 80MW had already been awarded. In addition, the Railways is in the process of tendering about 255MW of land-based solar projects, of which 50MW have been awarded.
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