Chennai: The COP21 (Conference of the Parties) in 2015 in Paris pledged to achieve zero net emissions of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to curb rising temperatures. Another global conference is planned for 2026 to take stock and deepen the pledge commitments.
India has committed to increasing the share of alternate energy production capacity to 40 per cent by 2022 and increasing forest cover to 33 per cent.
In an article, TV Mohandas Pai, chairman, Aarin Capital and Nisha Holla, technology fellow, C-CAMP, states: “As of now, India is the only country on track to meet its commitment. Nearly 10 per cent of overall energy consumption is met by alternate energy, and a 175,000MW install base of alternate energy – primarily solar and wind – is on track to be completed by 2022.”
The Indian Railways (IR) – the fourth-longest railway system in the world – is a mega-consumer of fossil fuel in India, in the form of diesel. For India to significantly reduce its carbon footprint, it is imperative for IR to rework their incoming energy sources and consumption efficiency, says Pai, adding: “In this regard, IR has undertaken a series of steps to become carbon neutral and uphold its commitment to the nation’s energy mandate and is doing remarkably well at that.”
IR has planned to move away from diesel as a primary fuel source to electric traction. During the 2014-21 period, 24,000 route KM (RKM) has been electrified as against 4,337 RKM during the 2007-14 period.
“It is on track to complete 100 per cent electrification of BG by December 2023; 71 per cent is complete with 18,800RKM to go. At 100 per cent electrification, the savings is estimated at Rs 14,500 crore annually. IR’s electrification program will significantly reduce operations costs, enable heavier train loads, allow longer and faster journeys, and reduce overall energy consumption.”