The Indian Railways could meet up to 25 per cent of its energy demand from renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, said a study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) on Wednesday.
According to the study released here by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal, the railways would achieve the target of 5GW of solar power by 2025.
"Indian Railways would need an investment of $3.6 billion to meet the 5GW target," said the study titled 'Decarbonising the Indian Railways: Scaling Ambitions, Understanding Ground Realities'.
Of the total 5 GW solar power, about 1.1 GW would come from rooftop solar power plants.
"We want Indian Railways to become a green engine of growth… We have set up a target of electrifying the entire network of Indian Railways in next ten years with at least 90 per cent of track electrification in next five years," Prabhu said.
The Railway Minsiter said that the ministry is looking to add 1,000 MW of solar and 200 MW of wind energy, of which 36 MW has already been commissioned.
"Railways have come out with a commendable plan called Mission 41K where they are looking at a saving of INR 41,000 crore through the electrification of railway lines," said Union Minister for Power Piyush Goyal, who also holds the Coal, New and Renewable Energy, and Mines portfolio.
The minister said that the Railways' decision to domestically source the equipment will largely benefit the domestic industry.
"I am glad that Indian Railways have joined the energy efficiency programme and have tied up with Energy Efficiency Service Ltd (EESL) to have 100 per cent LED lights. Today we are supplying power at reduced rate of 60 to 70 per cent than what it was three years ago even at peak demand," Goyal said.
EESL is the organisation responsible for implementing the Modi government's ambitious LED light scheme.
The Indian Railways announced their 1GW solar target in 2015 and had achieved about 37MW of wind and 16MW of solar power across railway operations until March 2017.