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  India   Soon, trains may chug on green energy

Soon, trains may chug on green energy

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Nov 3, 2016, 12:52 am IST
Updated : Nov 3, 2016, 12:52 am IST

The Indian Railways will embark on a major electrification drive to cut its carbon footprint by setting up renewable energy installations with a total capacity of 1,000 MW by 2020.

The Indian Railways will embark on a major electrification drive to cut its carbon footprint by setting up renewable energy installations with a total capacity of 1,000 MW by 2020.

The idea was first floated by the National Transport Development Policy Committee, which had in a report identified electrification of railway tracks as a means to reduce fuel consumption.

It recommended taking up electrification on priority through systematically tackling the bottlenecks in progress of electrification projects. It has also suggested that electrification should be viewed as a means of making rail transport independent of imported fossil energy, while also provide a choice in sourcing energy.

Electric traction also allows regeneration of power while braking or coasting and feeding the network, thereby reducing overall consumption of energy and carbon emissions, a senior Railways official said.

Currently 28,000 rkm or 42 percent of tracks are electrified which carry around two-thirds of total freight traffic and 50 per cent of total passenger traffic. As against 800 kms of average electrification in the earlier years, 1600 rkm of railway tracks were electrified in 2015-’16.

In order to improve efficiency and bring in cost economies in freight and passenger operations, reducing carbon footprints through use of sustainable and green sources of energy is also a key focus area.

The Railways targets to harness 1 GW solar and 500 MW wind power as announced in Rail Budget 2015-16. Provisions would also be made for 500 MW of solar units on roof tops through Central Finance Assistance (CFA).

Apart from this, acquisition and Introduction of new energy efficient Rolling Stock has also been initiated.

The official said that Indian Railways will also be sold as an attractive investment destination considering its plans for huge investment in next five years towards modernization of its electrified network and use of renewable energy.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi