Weekly Rundown: Railways to generate 1000 MW via ground and rooftop solar installation

February 10, 2020by absrenewpower

Following up on our previous rundown. Here is a quick recap to what happened this week.

  • Indian railways commits to generate 1000 MW by the coming year and 5GW by 2030
    Post the 2020 budget, Indian railways highlighted their vision of installing ground mounted solar on railway occupied land alongside railways tracks. The Indian railways have targeted to generate 1000 MW by 2021.
    This vision was stressed upon to reduce railway costs in the future and become self-sufficient by 2030. Also, with the availability of 50,000 hectare land pool, Indian railways have the potential to generate 10 GW of solar electricity.

    With Indian railways already having 101 MW ground and rooftop solar installation in railway stations, and multiple projects lined up, the vision to achieve 1000 MW looks achievable and a great initiative to reduce their overhead costs.
  • All agriculture produce markets to get solar pv systems
    According to the approved proposal, agricultural and sub-markets that have the sufficient budget for solar pv systems can avail a bank loan of 70 to 80 percent of the total cost. For the mandi committees that do not have the budget, the government will be offering them assistance.
  • New solar cell developed that could work at night
    Jeremy Munday, who is a professor in electrical and computer engineering, has developed a prototype of solar cell that could generate 50W of power per square meter at night i.e. a quarter of what solar panels generate in daytime.
    Normal solar cells absorb sunlight and produce solar electricity of it, the nighttime solar cells emit light to allow current to flow in the opposite direction, but they do produce energy. These cells can also work in day time if the panels are blocked from receiving sunlight or positioned away from the sun. Mr. Munday is also working on improving the power output and efficiency rates of these solar cells.
  • Renewable energy to contribute 21% of India’s electricity demand
    With India actively promoting renewable energies, Power Minister R. K. Singh recently estimated that renewables will contribute towards 21% of India’s electricity demand. He further stated that it has the potential to rise up to 27% by 2027.
    Some of the major steps government is taking to increase their dependency on renewables include easing Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), strengthen the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), mandating Letter of Credit (LC) to ensure timely secure payments.
    With India pledging to meet 40% electricity demands via renewables in the Paris accord on climate change, future policies will cater to encouraging renewable energy like rooftop solar installations.
  • India increased their renewable energy capacities to 7,592 MW in 2019.
    India has successfully commissioned 7,592 MW till December 2019. While, India achieved more in 2018 with 8,532 MW, renewable projects for 34,160 MW are still under implementation stage. Identifying that majority of the renewable investments were made by private sectors, public sectors like railways are also heavily investing to contribute towards the sustainable goals of India.
    Another issue that the government wishes to resolve this year to encourage renewable projects is the non-payment of dues to DISCOMs. The UDAY scheme has been initiated to improve the operational and financial efficiencies of DISCOMs.

    To summarize the news for the week, the benefits of solar is not only attracting other industries but also public sectors. Also, the government looks to tackle hurdles and achieve its sustainable goals as soon as possible. Visit us next time for the next rundown.