To emerge as a world class organisation in setting standards, development, research and execution in fuel and energy efficient and eco-friendly technologies, primarily for assimilation in IR.
Search for viable alternatives to fossil fuels has been spurred both for reasons of economy and for preventing and reversing global warming. Governments worldwide, through internal initiatives and through international treaties are setting ever tightening goals for curbing and controlling use of energy sources that add Green House Gases (GHGs) and pollute the environment. India, with a large population and rapidly growing economy owes it to the humanity to adopt an environmentally sustainable energy economy. Indian Railways, being the largest single entity, which buys and uses energy in various forms, has the potential to become a leader in promoting the green economy and stimulate growth in the alternate energy industry.
Government of India’s Policy
The Government of India, through the Ministry of Renewable Energy, has set the agenda for adoption of renewable energy through the five-year plan targets. The 12th Plan targets include 15,000 MW through Wind Power, 4000MW through Solar, 2000MW through bio-mass etc. totaling 30,000MW of capacity addition only through renewable sources. The 13th Plan targets (Year 2022) are equally ambitious. Quite clearly the Government of India has laid down a plan. IR needs to follow the national policy to contribute its own share to this plan.
Indian Railways - Status
Except for minor projects and showcase installations, Indian Railways have not aligned itself with the targets of the 2022. There is very little that IR is doing on its own to contribute to the agenda set by the Government of India. The steps taken so far by IR are not commensurate with the quantity of energy that it consumes and the influence that it can exert due to it being the single largest buyer of petroleum and electricity.
Technology exists and is being developed in various areas such as bio-fuels, solar PV, solar steam, solar hydrogen, wind, fuel cells etc. and is becoming affordable.
Natural gas is becoming a fuel of choice, due to new finds, laying of pipelines and infrastructure building for LNG. Even though it is a fossil fuel, due to fewer Carbon atoms in its molecular structure, Natural Gas usage emits less GHG than liquid fuels.
Apart from alternate fuels, it is being progressively realized that saving of petroleum fuels is “another source” of fuel. Advanced technologies exist and are being continuously being developed to make engines and equipment more energy efficient.
Better utilization of electrical energy in workshops, production units and other stationary installations may yield substantial savings.
State of the Industry
Indian Industry has matured in areas of solar, CNG/LNG storage and transportation, wind and first and second generation bio diesel. India still depends on import of technology or equipment for fuel cells, third generation bio-diesel, CNG/LNG kits for engines and fuel efficient and emission control systems. Energy efficient lighting, electric motors and other equipment are now increasingly being deployed in offices and on the shop-floor.
Role of IROAF
IROAF will emerge as the leader IR in introduction of Alternate Energy, Fuel Efficient and Emission Control Technologies, advise and implement these across the Network. It will function as a single window entity for knowledge and database on technologies, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), suppliers, business partners and consultants. To achieve this, the IROAF will adopt following means amongst others:
(a)Work through a set of Missions, which will be periodically reviewed and updated.
(b)Create a Knowledge Centre – both paper-based and virtual.
(c)Subscribe to leading journals and build a library of subject-related books and other publications.
(d)Tie up with leading institutions through collaborations and memberships.
(e)Coordinate with concerned Ministries, Departments, Research Laboratories, Universities and International entities to explore state of the art and to enrich the knowledge base.
(f)Become a centre for drafting and finalising technical and commercial specifications for alternate energy, and fuel-efficient, energy-efficient and emission-control technologies.
(g)Arrange and participate in national and international technical conferences/ seminars/workshops.
(h)Invite students from engineering colleges to participate in IROAF’s activities as part of their summer training programmes.test123
IROAF Vision Document (2012)