Solar installations are starting to pick up in the Indian transportation sector. Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha regarding the government’s plan to install solar power systems in railway stations and airports as well as the state-wise details of the proposed installations, Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Power stated, “the government is boosting solar installations with emphasis on rooftop solar, however, the state-wise targets have not been set.”
Mr. Goyal also stated that solar power installations of capacities 37.11 MW and 10.5 MW have already been installed at various Indian airports and railway stations.
He also said that solar panels have been installed on the rooftop of four coaches running on the Pathankot-Joginder Nagar route in the Kangra Valley section. These solar panels are used for lighting the train coaches. Fourteen other coaches shuttling on the Kalka-Shimla route have also been fitted with solar panels on a trial basis.
Commenting on the plan of action to promote the usage of renewable energy at railway stations and airports in India, Mr Goyal, said that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has granted subsidies and incentives for an aggregate of 500 MW capacity to the Ministry of Railways which has a target of installing 1 GW of solar power by 2020. Indian airports are also working towards installing 18.4 MW solar power projects across India.