Railway Minister unveils Plans to set up Solar Power Plants on PPP Model in Railway lands

File Photo: Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu commissioning the 30 kW Solar Plant, at roof top of Rail Bhawan, in New Delhi last year
File Photo: Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu commissioning the 30 kW Solar Plant, at roof top of Rail Bhawan, in New Delhi last year

New Delhi: Indian Railways, the biggest single user of energy, can become the biggest producer of solar power in the country, according to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who unveiled plans to set up solar power plants on its land under PPP model. He was speaking at the launch of India Green House Gas (GHG) at India Business and Climate Summit 2015. The India GHG Program led by WRI India, Confederation of India Industry (CII) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) “is an industry-led voluntary framework to measure and manage greenhouse gas emissions,” according to its website.

Prabhu also spoke of reducing dependence on traditional sources of energy like coal, and added that railways will strive to look for innovative efforts to promote renewable energy. He stated that 23 per cent of the expenditure goes towards energy. Indian Railways is one of the largest consumers of coal and electricity in the country.

“The time is ripe for business leaders to drive low carbon growth by scaling energy efficient and sustainable business practices,” said Naushad Marshall, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president designate & director, Forbes Marshall. He urged Indian companies to sign up for India GHG programme. “Approximately 42 per cent of India’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy generation and about 76 per cent of that energy is consumed by industrialusers,” Marshall said.

“Each and every (Indian) entity must learn to conserve energy. It makes business and economy plan more efficient,” said Prabhu. “Railways are the largest single user of energy today and slated to become the biggest producer of solar energy,” he said.

“At present railways use solar energy on experimental basis at some stations. There is a need to come up with a globally binding agreement on climate change and we must have a strong domestic strategy,” said Prabhu as he explained roofs of railway buildings being used as solar energy pools. The Railways in its budget outlined 1,000 MW solar plants in the next five years.

“The power and transport sectors in India contribute significantly to India’s emissions. The tools launched today by the India GHG Program will ensure consistent and accountable measurement of emissions,” said Jamshyd Godrej, leading industrialist and Chairperson, WRI India.

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