Will Piyush Goyal bring his solar experience to make Indian railways green?

On September 3, 2017, after a cabinet reshuffle, India appointed former New and Renewable Energy Minister, Piyush Goyal, as its new Railway Minister. Goyal is well known for his appreciable work in the Indian renewables sector, which everyone expects him to integrate and accelerate into the Indian railways.

The Indian railways under former minister Suresh Prabhu, released a medium-term plan of 1000 MW of solar power commissioned by 2020, and more than 130 MW of wind energy with the funding support of MNRE. The company also pledged to convert all railway production units, as well as at least one workshop in each zonal railway as green industrial unit.

Moreover, Goyal can smoothly accelerate the work in alternate energy required for railways. As for the next financial year 2017-18, the railways have planned to complete 4000 Km of electrification and 11,000 km in the following 3 years, where solar energy installations can play a huge role.

According to IJGlobal, the Railway Energy Management Company has recently awarded 67 MW rooftop capacity. On the top of this, Swiss industrial conglomerate ABB announced on September 1 that it will provide solar inverters to 750 railway stations in India. The 750 stations are located in the busy northern part of India’s railway network.

Indian railways own huge properties, which government can cover with solar installations. New tenders and new proposal for renewables in railways may be announced by both RK Singh, who is the new MNRE minister, and Piyush Goyal in the near future.