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Biodiversity & Environment

Indian Railways to Use More Renewable Energy

  • 07 Jul 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The Indian Railways has decided to be self-reliant for its energy needs by utilizing its vacant lands for Renewable Energy (RE) projects.

  • It will utilize solar energy for meeting its traction (action of drawing or pulling something over a surface) power requirements.

Key Points

  • In January 2020, it was announced that the entire network of the Indian Railways will run on electricity by 2024 and become a net-zero emission network by 2030.
  • Indian Railways is adopting an innovative concept of installation of solar projects along operational railway lines. This will help in:
    • Preventing encroachment.
    • Enhancing the speed and safety of trains.
    • Reduction of infrastructure costs due to direct injection of solar power into the traction network.
  • Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) is working continuously to further proliferate the use of solar energy on mega-scale.
  • With these mega initiatives, Indian Railways is leading India’s fight against climate challenge and is taking significant steps towards meeting its ambitious goal of being a net-zero carbon emissions organisation and meeting India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) targets.
  • This would also help in making Indian Railways a complete ‘Green mode’ of transportation and ‘Atmanirbhar (energy self-sufficient transport organisation)’.
  • Achievements:
    • Energy procurement from various solar projects like 3 MWp solar plant set up at Modern Coach Factory (MCF) Raebareli (Uttar Pradesh).
    • About 100 MWp rooftop solar systems on various stations and buildings of Railways.
    • A project of 1.7 MWp near Bina Traction Sub Station, Bina (Madhya Pradesh) connected directly to Overhead Traction System (OTS) will be commissioned shortly.
      • This is the first of its kind project in the world authorised by Indian Railways in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).
      • It involves the adoption of innovative technology for converting Direct Current (DC) to single-phase Alternating Current (AC) for feeding directly to Railway’s overhead traction system.
      • It can produce approximately 25 lakh units of energy annually and will save around Rs. 1.37 crore for Railways every year.

Overhead Traction System

  • Traction system causes the propulsion of a vehicle in which tractive or driving force is obtained from various devices such as diesel engine drives, steam engine drives, electric motors, etc.
  • When this power supply is drawn from an overhead line system, it is called an Overhead Traction System.

Railway Energy Management Company Limited

  • It was incorporated on 16th August 2013 under the Companies Act 1956 as a joint venture company of Ministry of Railways.
  • Objective: To tap the business potential in the energy sector including green energy, power trading etc. by setting up renewable energy wind power projects, etc.

Source: PIB

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