The potential for solar energy in India is huge. Harnessing it will not only control diesel consumption (by up to 90,000 litres per year) and reduce carbon dioxide emissions (by over 200 tonnes), but also prove extremely cost-effective. “Solar energy will be used to meet the electricity needs in moving trains, and reduce diesel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions,” added Arun Arora.
As proposed in the plan, the train will run on a “conventional” diesel engine and its internal electricity requirements – for both AC and non-AC coaches – will be met by the installed solar panels.
According to a Northern Railway official, a train’s roof top has a total surface area of 40 square metres. While 24 square metres of this space is covered with 12 solar panels, the remaining 16 square metres throw open the potential for six more.