HYDERABAD: The Indian Railways is on an ambitious green drive mission which will see it setting up 1,000 MW solar power and 200 MW wind energy by 2020, apart from a number of initiatives for sustainability.
“The Railways has also set up a chain of over 100 water recycling plants in the country, which have helped us save about ₹200 crore a year,” Alok Kumar Tewari, Principal Executive Director, Environment, Ministry of Railways, said.
Energy efficiency drive
Speaking to media on the sidelines of Energy Efficiency Summit 2018 here today, the Railway official said, “We have identified various areas within railway operations to bring about energy efficiency while also facilitating setting up renewable energy projects cross the country.”
“Among all the Central Government establishments, we are the only Ministry having separate directorate looking after the environment-related issues. This initiative has been launched about two years back and it has now gathered momentum and work on various areas, including renewable energy. The Ministry has set us a target of 1,000 MW solar power and 200 MW wind energy. We are working towards achieving the target,” he added.
Of the 1,000 MW solar, which includes 500 MW rooftop and 500 MW grounded units, and 200 MW wind projects, thus far 60 MW solar and 40 MW wind has been installed and 150 MW solar and another 50 MW wind projects have been tendered. These are all expected to be ready by about December-January, taking the capacity up to 300 MW, he said.
“The model for implementation of these renewable projects is simple. We do not invest in setting up them but invite developers to set them up with their investments, assuring them we will buy power, that comes at lower tariff,” he explained.
Referring to the water recycling project that the Railways has taken up, he said, “About 7 crore litres of water is recycled per day for use within railways and this has translated to a saving of over ₹200 crore.”
“As per the overall plans for energy efficiency, we are also looking at use of bio fuels in diesel power units, where about 25 diesel units are working on dual fuels. Two plants have been set up for bio fuels,” he said.
Mentioning about the afforestation initiative of the Railways, Tewari said “It is proposed to plant 5 crore trees by 2020 and thus far more than 2 crore trees have been planted and efforts are on to complete the balance by 2020.”
“For every work we initiate, one per cent of the funds are allocated for green initiatives. This ensures we continue to work with passion on green initiatives,” he said.