Railways Ministry signs four MoUs to improve efficiency

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai | August 13, 2015 06:27 IST

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu said that these MoUs, will provide a frame work for providing future solutions in the power sectors and to facilitate Railways bring a change in the energy mix of Railways.

In the presence of Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of  Railways and  Piyush Goyal, Minister of State Independent Charge for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, four Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) were signed between Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Power & Ministries of New & Renewable Energy and their organizations for cooperation in the areas of Electricity Transmission, Energy Conservation and promotion of Renewable Energy in a time bound manner: - 
MOU for co-operation in the area of Electricity and Energy Conservation between Ministry of Power (MOP) and Ministry of Railways(MOR) to share knowledge on various developments in the power sector to reduce the cost of power to Railways.( MOU between MOP and MOR  signed between Shri P.K.Pujari, Secretary Power and Shri Navin Tandon, Member Electrical.)
MOU between Ministry of Railways (MOR) and Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE)for co-operation in the Renewable Energy to bring in a change in the energy mix & Solarization of Railways. ( MOU between MNRE and MOR signed between Shri Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, MNRE and Shri Sudhir Garg, ED(EEM)/Railway Board)
MOU between Ministry of Railways and Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE) for co-operation in the area of Energy Conservation to identify technologies to further improve efficient utilization of Energy on Railways. (MOU between BEE and MOR signed between Shri Ajay Mathur, Director General/BEE and Shri J.S.P.Singh, Adviser/Electrical/Railway Board)
MOU between Railway Energy Management Company Limited(REMCL)  and Energy Efficiency Services Limited(EESL) for implementation of Energy Conservation projects over Railways to implement energy efficient systems on Indian Railways.( MOU between EESL & REMCL  signed by Shri Saurabh Kumar, MD/EESL & Shri Rajeev Mehrotra, CMD/RITES)
 Present on the occasion of signing of Memorandum of Understanding were Shri A.K.Mital, Chairman Railway Board, Shri Navin Tandon, Member Electrical, Shri P.K. Pujari, Secretary Ministry of Power, Shri Upendra Tripathy, Secretary MNRE, Rajeev Mehrotra CMD/RITES, Shri Ajay Mathur, DG/BEE, Shri Saurabh Kumar, MD/EESL and other officers from Railway Board and Ministry of Power and NRE.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu said that these MoUs, will provide a frame work for providing future solutions in the power sectors and to facilitate Railways bring a change in the energy mix of Railways. This is also needed looking at the requirement of the present time which wants close co-ordination between stakeholders, working together and understanding each other to make faster deliveries to people. These MoUs will pave for efficient and reliable utilization of resources in the power sector and also in the renewable energy sector for making it possible for the Railway to take benefits of various developments taking place in the power sector as a whole. Shri Suresh Prabhu said that Railways on the expenditure side have two major heads – salary and fuel.  While nothing much can be done much on salary side, we are constantly working to reduce the expenditure on fuel.  
We have already embarked upon the path of reducing power consumption, improving energy efficiency, reducing power cost and utilizing new and renewable energy sources and the four MoUs signed today will boost railways’ efforts in this direction in a big way. The Minister pointed out that Railways have started energy audit which would give a better picture of energy consumption pattern which in turn will help in planning appropriate energy mix.  The domain knowledge of Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and their various organizations will go a long way to help Railways in this crucial sector.  We have already started on a mission to use LED source of light for energy saving.  Indian Railways has also taken steps to increase the use of solar energy to meet its varied energy needs and may become one of the largest producers of new and renewable energy in future. The Minister pointed out that Railway in its own right is a cleaner and environment friendly mode of transport and would like to make further efforts to become the green transporter.   
In his address, Piyush Goyal, Minister of State Independent Charge for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy said that the signing of four MoUs today is a momentous occasion and transcends three crucial Ministries of Government of India.  The MoUs aim at taking a holistic view of energy sector for the benefit of Indian Railways and also the nation. Shri Goyal appreciated that the Indian Railway is going for green energy like solar and wind energy in a big way and is poised to become one of the largest generators of renewable energy in the years to come. He pointed out that the entire energy mission in the country is 100 per cent domestic source oriented and is in line with ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ programmes of the Hon’ble Prime Minister. Three Central Ministries through these MoUs have come together to meet ambitious targets in the field of energy saving, energy efficiency and production of green energy. Appreciating the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu’s passion for environmental issues, Shri Goyal said that Shri Suresh Prabhu has been the biggest champion of this cause and in a way worked as an ambassador for cleaner environment. 
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Railway Board, Shri A.K. Mital said that the Indian Railways is one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world, playing a key role in India’s social and economic development by providing affordable transport facilities to the common man and facilitating transport of  ores, minerals, iron, steel, cement, mineral oils, food grains and fertilizer at a competitive rates.  Shri Mital pointed out that Indian Railways consume about 15 billion units for traction purposes and 2.5 billion units for non-traction purposes alone. The electricity consumption of Indian Railways is around 1.7% of India’s total Electricity consumption. The annual Electricity bill in the fiscal year 2014-2015 was about Rs 12322 crores. Ever increasing passenger and freight traffic is likely to further increase the energy requirements for the traction purpose. A small saving on part of Indian Railways in electricity consumption will have a large effect on our bottom-line and at the same time contribute to the country’s energy saving.  Shri Mital said that the Railways, is an eco-firendly means of transport. To further contribute to ecological sustainability, IR has set itself a target of meeting its 10% of demand through Renewable energy sources by year 2020 and has targeted large scale harnessing of solar and wind energy as well as adoption of energy efficient appliances/equipment, to reduce electricity consumption.
He said that under the leadership of Railway Minister, in this year Budget, Railways has committed to expand sourcing of solar power as part of Solar Mission of Railways by setting up of 1000 MW solar plants in next 5 years. We have set up an Electrical Energy Management Cell in the Ministry and an Energy Management Directorate in RDSO to work on Sustainable Energy Management in Railways.  Indian Railway has also initiated a number of steps for reducing carbon emission through use of renewable energy. These include roof-top and vacant land-based solar power plants, wind power plants, solar based water heating systems, solar coolers & solar street lights etc. at various locations.  These initiatives are being implemented with the ultimate objective of economy in procurement price of electricity and best value for money through competitive bidding.  The MOUs which will be signed today will help Railways to work together with our sister Ministries and tap their knowledge and experience in implementation of Electricity & Energy Efficiencies projects.
        Speaking on the occasion, Member Electrical, Railway Board Shri Navin Tandon said that  the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu had a clear agenda to rationalize the cost of electric power for Railways. This is one action which can become a game changer in improving the financial health of Railways. Further, solarization of Railway is Railway Minister’s dream in line with the Hon’ble PM’s directives, as well with the aim to reduce the cost of power for Railways. The concerns of Railway Minister are known for environment and so is the emphasis on renewal energy.
Railways have a total Electric bill of about Rs.12500 Crores, including Rs.10900 Crores for traction and Rs 1700 Crores for Non-traction energy. To rationalize this energy cost, Minister of Railways had constituted a committee under Central Electricity Authority (CEA) which generated an  “Energy Action Plan” to reduce electricity bill for Railways by getting electricity at economical tariff through open bidding, conducting energy audits, harnessing green energy etc.
Ministry of Railways, as a long term strategy, would like to build its own transmission network, connected to Inter State Transmission network as per CEA recommendations.  Shri Tandon said that by our own efforts by initiating various energy efficiency related measures, Railways have been able to save about Rs 2000 Crores in last 5 years. BEE has calculated that these efforts have led to an improvement by 3.33% in use of energy in Traction application, on year to year basis, far ahead of 1.33% achieved by the industry under PAT (Perform Achieve and Trade) scheme.  He pointed out that there is still a huge scope and so we are now associating with BEE for a closer look at our systems to suggest even better energy efficient means.  Shri Tandon said that we have already become part of the Energy efficient LED lamp scheme when Railway administration assisted the distribution of LED lamp to Railway staff at Diesel Locomotive works Varanasi. In just four days more than 32000 lamp were purchased by our over enthusiastic staff.  Today the scheme has been flagged off in Delhi as well with the  purchase of a LED lamp by Minister of Railways himself. 
SALIENT FEATURES OF MOUs : 
A.        MOU between MOR & MOP and between MOR and BEE
·            Implementation of Electricity & Energy Efficiency projects for Indian Railways including feasibility, study, construction, operation and maintenance of Electricity & Energy Efficiency projects in a phased manner by optimum utilization of resources of both Parties.
·            Co-operation for construction, operation and maintenance of           transmission lines for connection with Railway substation through the          PSUS under the control of both parties and development of smart grids             & online Load Monitoring Centers, in co-ordination with National load      Dispatch Centers etc.
·            Facilitating sharing of information, experiences, knowledge and training of staff and officers of Railways at their own cost on identified subjects or through organization of joint workshops, conferences and seminars             etc.
·            Exchange of Scientific and Technological information and data, training of scientific and technical personnel’s, implementation of joint research             or technical projects for achieving energy conservation on Indian         Railways.
·            Co-operation in implementation of energy conservation projects      for targeted achievement of energy savings over Indian     Railways and development of long term road map.
·            Replacement with  energy efficient equipments and technology       innovation on non-commercial basis for encouragement to Zonal         Railways on energy conservation measures.
·            Finalization of concept of papers on present technologies and          their usages in Railways.
B.        MOU between MOR and MNRE
·                     Conceptualization, structuring, implementation, Operation and        Maintenance of Renewable Energy Projects in phased manner by             optimum utilization of resources of both Parties.
·                     Implementation of Renewable Energy projects at different Indian   Railways premises (Railway stations, yards, offices, workshops and          residential complexes & other installations) .
                                                                                     
·                     Both parties may also recognize the importance of available                                                 Renewable Energy resource for industrial and thermal applications.
MOU between REMCL and EESL
Under the MOU,EESL will  undertake Energy Audits of Railway Building, assess potential of energy savings through techno-commercially viable energy efficiency measures as may be mutually agreeable, finalisation  of Technical Specifications of various energy efficient equipments such as LED Lights, Air Conditioners, Ceiling fans, Water pumps, Automatic Power Factor Correction  panels, Compressors etc. to be deployed in the relevant projects & assist in procurement on competitive bidding basis as per public procurement norms ensuring the technical performance of newly installed equipments as per design specifications to provide the following services to Zonal Railways on remuneration basis.  To spread awareness of LED bulbs, arrangements   made by Electrical Energy Management Directorate, Railway Board  with Energy Efficiency Services Limited for  distribution of  7 watt LED bulb for Railway employees under their Demand Side Management  based Efficient Lighting  programme (DELP).  LED bulb distribution will start on 12.08.2015 from 1600 Hrs. for railway employees at Rail Bhawan, Baroda House and DRM office, New Delhi. These bulbs are provided at a subsidised rate of Rs. 93/- and each employee with valid proof is eligible to get a maximum of four bulbs .
BACKGROUND BRIEF
Railways are one of the biggest consumers of power in the country and would like to become leader in the renewable sector and master the technologies leading to  efficiency utilization of energy. These 3 MoUs with Ministry of Power (MoP), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) will take care of complete power sphere from Railways perspective covering generation of power to demand side and make it possible for Government of India to show case how learning from each other can take you ahead in exploiting world class technologies and provide cheaper services to the people at large. These MoUs will also provide Railways the technical expertise, and open training facilities available in the power sector, to Railways.
The National Action Plan on climate change aims at enhancing renewable energy in the overall energy mix and other uses.  While working together with MNRE, railways can use its open air spaces and vast stretches of land to generate renewable energy. Both these organisations will also work towards increasing awareness of  benefits of the renewable energy using the space resources visibility of Railways.  Developing appropriate funding mechanism is a very important aspect to make a technology successful and so this collaboration will explore various financial possibilities including utilisation of international funds.
 

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