India is leading a revolution — a solar revolution. The 1.3 billion-person country has unveiled everything from solar-powered buses to solar-powered cities.
Now, a train station in the city of Guwahati is running on solar energy, Quartz reports.
It’s the first train station in the country to run entirely on renewables.
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"The Guwahati railway station runs 100% on solar power,” Pranav Jyoti Sharma, CPRO of North-East Frontier Railway, told Financial Express Online. “This is a first of its kind initiative for the North-East and has proved to be immensely beneficial.”
In all, the station installed more than 2,500 solar modules — preventing about 600,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere in the past month, Financial Express Online reported.
Not only is the project beneficial for the environment, it also may turn out to be a wise investment.
The cost of installing solar panels on the building was about $1 million, but solar energy will save Indian Railways an estimated $100,000 each year in electricity bills — meaning the investment will pay itself off in about 10 years.
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India’s newest solar-powered initiative comes as the country is experiencing a solar-power boom, of sorts.
Last year, 40% of new additions to India’s electrical grid were from solar sources, Quartz reported. The country, most of which sees 300 days of sunshine each year, is uniquely positioned to transition to solar and other renewable energy sources, according to the World Bank.
In all, the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis has estimated that more than one-quarter of India’s energy will come from renewable sources by 2027.
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The government aims to have 40% of its energy come from renewable sources by 2030.
But with coal continuing to account for more than three-quarters of the country’s energy production, India still has a long ways to go. The solar train, it seems, is only just pulling out of the station.
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