IR plans to source 25 per cent of its power needs from renewables by 2025

IR plans to source 25 per cent of its power needs from renewables, moving towards its goal of 5 GW of solar energy by 2025. A target of Rs 410 billion of savings in the energy bill has been set. Further, a 1,000 MW target of solar energy production has been set, of which 500 MW will be through rooftop solar. IR is the largest consumer of electricity in the country, with 85 per cent of the power demand being for running trains while the rest is for meeting non-traction demand like use at railway stations. The energy demand for the railways is set to triple from current levels to 49 TWh by 2030 because of the growing number of passengers. Sourcing such a quantum of energy from clean sources will be a massive challenge, but the move towards generating cleaner power on railway-owned land opens up a huge market for renewable power project developers. IR qualifies as a guaranteed consumer with a growing demand, which makes it an attractive customer for solar developers.