India and United Kingdom to Work Towards Making Indian Railways Energy-Efficient

To involve the use of renewable sources like solar and wind and adopting energy-efficient practices


India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Department for International Development (DFID-Government of United Kingdom) for facilitating the energy self-sufficiency of the Indian Railways.

As per the MoU, both the parties have agreed on taking steps to improve the energy efficiency and helping the Indian Railways to meet its energy demands.

Earlier, it was reported that the Indian Railways is continuously trying to solarize the railway lines of the country. It is the single largest consumer of electricity with a roughly 2% share of the national energy consumption.

Through this agreement, both the parties have agreed on energy planning and helping the Indian Railways to take care of its energy needs. The move will involve the use of renewable sources like solar and wind, adopting energy-efficient practices, enabling fuel efficiency, deployment of energy charging infrastructure, and battery-operated shunting locomotives.

The MoU also provides opportunities for training programs, industrial visits, field visits, and other such measures of cooperation between the two parties.

According to the clauses of the MoU, each participant will be subject to the rules, regulations, and national policies governing the issue in their respective countries.

If any party wants to terminate this MoU, they can do so by communicating it in a written form, in which case, the termination of the MoU will take effect six months after receipt of such written communication.

The Railways has been pursuing solar and wind systems diligently and aims at becoming a net-zero emitter in the coming years.

In November last year, the Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal, announced that the ministry had installed 95.67 MW of rooftop solar systems to date. In response to an inquiry in the Lok Sabha, Goyal replied that the ministry had awarded nearly 248.46 MW of solar capacity. The minister stated that the existing array of solar projects had been installed on various railway buildings, including 835 railway stations across the country.

Previously, the Railway Energy Management Company Ltd. (REMCL), a joint venture between the Indian Railways and RITES Limited, had issued a Request for Selection (RfS) to procure power from wind-solar hybrid projects.