The Indian Railways are working on a project which would replace, to a major extent, the traditionally used diesel and conventionally produced thermal electricity, by eco-friendly and cheaper resources in the form of solar and wind power. This decision (i.e., to plan to harness renewable resourced of electric power) was taken due to the massive Rs. 35,000 crore bill of energy which was used to drive the railways in the last financial year. The bill was split in the expense of diesel and electricity, which was Rs. 24,000 crore for diesel and Rs. 11,000 crore for electricity.
A high-ranking official of the Railway Ministry has said that the endeavour to harness renewable energy is due to the government's continuous pursuit to make the environment cleaner and healthier and also to support sustainable development. To make this project a success, the government has formed a joint venture with Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES). This JV is in the split of 49-51 in the favour of the Railway Ministry. This JV is known as the Railway Energy Management Company (REMC).
Currently, the Indian Railways is harnessing solar power from 7MW Photo Voltaic (PV) modules situated at 4000 railway level crossings and about 500 railway stations across India. There also exists a wind energy generation plant of about 10.5 Mega Watt capacity. To add to the solar energy harnessing, there exist solar water heaters at retiring rooms and training institutes of the Railways.
As an additional effort to increase the wind and solar power in the operation of the trains, Railway Ministry is considering to install about 158MW of wind energy generation plants across India. To improve solar power generation, 200 railway stations, 2000 level crossings and 26 roof tops of buildings would be installed with solar modules, which would add to a total of an additional 7MW power generation. The JV, REMC, has already registered the wind generation model in the UNFCCC, i.e., the United Nations Frameworks Convention on Climate Change. This model is currently earning, per year, 20,000 CERs of carbon credits.