The Indian Railways Finance Corporation, the financing arm of Indian Railways has raised $500 million through a green bonds issue which is listed at the International Securities Market of the London Stock Exchange. The bond was offered at an annual yield of 3.835% for a period of 10 years.
It will use the funds raised from the green bond issue toward the electrification of rail tracks and to reduce its dependence on diesel locomotives, thereby significant cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. Indian Railways has a very ambitious renewable energy program. A nationwide project to set up rooftop solar power systems at more than 7,000 railway stations is already underway. Additionally, plans are also afloat to set up utility-scale solar power projects at unused land parcels owned by Indian Railways; NLC India has reportedly been tasked to implement the project.
The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) has found that Indian Railways could set up 5 gigawatts of solar power capacity, through rooftop and utility-scale projects, to significantly increase its consumption of renewable energy over the next few years. The study by CEEW shows that 3,900 megawatts of utility-scale projects and 1,100 megawatts of rooftop projects can be installed by the Indian Railways with an estimated investment of $3.6 billion. Last year, the Indian Railways joined hands with UNDP to execute plans to set up 5,000 megawatts of solar power capacity.