Railways will formulate a comprehensive energy efficiency plan to reduce energy bill by Rs 5000 crore in the next five years.
“Energy bill is the second largest in railways after salary and pension. So we have to use the energy in a such a way so as to optimise the cost,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said in New Delhi on Friday.
While the diesel bill is about Rs 22,000 cr, the electricity cost is about Rs 12,500 cr a year in railways.
Addressing the global meet on Energy Efficient Technologies in Railways, Prabhu said, “We have to focus on energy efficiency as it is very very important. The need is to use less energy with more efficiency.”
He said there are many options such as solar power, wind energy, bio-diesel, waste to energy projects to reduce energy cost as well as carbon emission.
Pitching for latest technology and innovative solutions for energy saving and cost reduction, Prabhu said, “We have to make a road map for it so that railways could reduce the enrgy bill by Rs 5,000 cr in the next five years. A comprehensive energy efficiency plan needs to be worked out. He said railways have undertaken energy audits to know the ground situation. There is also a need to look into the demand side. Because there is a demand so there has to be supply for power. So an integrated plan needs to be worked out for looking into the power demand and how it can be reduced,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said the target of reducing energy bill in the five-year time frame should be adhered to strictly. Railways have harnessed about 10.5 MW of solar energy at level crossing gates, solar-based street lights, solar plants at many stations including Katra solar panels on some train roofs. Railways are also planning to set up 160 MW wind mill plants to reduce carbon emission.