India Will Power Its Railways with Renewable Energy

India Rolls Up Sleeves for Solar Powered Trains
India Rolls Up Sleeves for Solar Powered Trains

📩 20/09/2023 10:48

Central Railways of India, which has a target of 2030 gigawatts of solar energy capacity by 20, announced that it has won a new tender for solar-powered train works. In the country, where more than 1000 hectares of solar energy is planned to be installed, 100 percent electrification is aimed by the end of this year.

India, the second most populous country in the world with a population of more than 1 billion 425 million, is expanding its solar-powered train travel network. The country, which introduced its first solar-powered trains in 2017, announced that it aimed to save more than 600 million dollars annually at the beginning of the project and announced that it would increase the number of solar-powered trains to 6 within 24 months. Accordingly, the amount of diesel savings provided by 24 trains running on solar energy was 84 thousand tons per year, and the carbon emission it prevented was 225 tons.

According to the news by Başak Nur Gökçam from Dünya newspaper Central Railway, one of the 18 railway zones in the country, has promised to develop 81 megawatt solar power units at 1 locations across its network.

According to Times of India, it was stated that the Central Railway company, which operated India's first passenger railway line 170 years ago, won the tender for a 1 MW capacity solar power plant in a new electric locomotive shed at Ajni in Nagpur.


Making a statement on the subject, Central Railways Public Relations Officer Shivraj Manaspure said, “We have identified approximately 2 acres (700 hectares) of vacant or unused railway land to facilitate the installation of solar power plants. "These locations have tremendous potential for developing solar infrastructure and will help further reduce carbon emissions of Indian railways," he said.

Announcing that it targets 2030 gigawatts of solar energy capacity by 20, Central Railways announced that it aims to achieve national targets in renewable energy and move forward with an environmentally friendly approach. According to the statement made by the Ministry of Railways, railway stations providing 'Solarisation' will help India become 'Atma-Nirbhar' (self-sufficient). In this context, it is aimed to reach 2023 percent electrification by December 100.

The world's first 100 percent solar-powered train was prepared to set off in 2017 in the town of Byron Bay, located on the coast of Australia's New South Wales state. The solar-powered train, which was invented by the Byron Bay Railway Company after restoring an old 1940 model train, had a capacity of 100 passengers and two carriages. 6,5 kilometers of rails were renewed for this environmentally friendly train, equipped with 3 kW solar panels.


In addition, the panels on the train were feeding the 77 kW/h battery on the train, and there were 30 kWh charging units powered by the sun at both stations where the train would depart, so that it could operate when the train could not collect enough solar energy.

The transition to solar-powered trains in Europe took place in 2020. SolarPower Europe SözcüBethany Meban said it had become almost standard for railways across Europe to have some form of PPA system to source renewable energy.