Aug 6, 2016

Indian Railways - Non-Conventional Energy Sources

Indian Railways (IR) has started use of bio-diesel (5% blending with diesel) as an alternative to High Speed Diesel (HSD) for traction purposes since June, 2015 on trial basis. No special fund allotment for bio-diesel is contemplated since it is a part of fuel cost for which provision is already available in the budget. Further, in order to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, IR proposes to harness 1000 Mega Watt (MW) solar power by putting up solar plants on Railway buildings/stations & through land based solar plants across the country with subsidy/viability gap funding support of Ministry of Non-Renewable Energy in the next few years. 

It is planned that as part of this, solar plants will be put up on roof top of Railway buildings through developers with Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) by Railways and partly on land based systems. For rooftop plants, tenders for 50 MW Solar Photovoltaic units have been floated. IR also proposes to harness about 150 MW wind energy, by itself or through Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL). 

A total of about 50 MW renewable energy capacity has been installed till date, including approximately 13 MW solar and 37 MW wind plants