The Indian railways may source a quarter of its power needs from renewables moving towards its goal of 5GW of solar by 2025, according to a new report by Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). “We want Indian Railways to become a green engine of growth,” Suresh P Prabhu, minister for railways, said at the launch of the CEEW report Wednesday.
The Indian railways is the largest consumer of electricity in the country, with a majority of the demand (85%) used to run trains while the rest is to meet non-traction demand like use at railway stations.
About 45 percent of India’s 66,000 km railway network is electrified. The first major transition for the sector was from steam powered engines to diesel-powered engines and electricity. Today, in a year the railways guzzle about 2.6 billion litres of diesel, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels.
“We have set up a …