Bullet train
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pose in front of a Shinkansen bullet train before heading for Hyogo prefecture at Tokyo Station, Japan November 12, 2016, in this photo taken by Kyodo.Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious bullet train project is expected to consume 40 per cent more electricity than what is required to run Delhi's entire network of Metro as per an estimate made by the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL).

After its operation commences, the bullet train project will need 1,100 million units of electricity per year to power the locomotive and intermediate stoppages. On the other hand, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. operating over eight lines spanning 350 kilometres serving 236 stations consumes 850 million units annually.

The reason attributed to this high amount of energy requirement is the bullet train's need to attain a certain speed. Moreover, the metro trains are equipped with regenerative braking, a technology that capable of recovering some energy while stopping and converting it into usable electricity. For its power requirement, the project implementation agency, NHSRCL will construct around 350 kilometres long transmission lines and high voltage cabling.

NHSRCL has already tied up with multiple power supplying companies for proper electricity supply. In an interview in November 2018, NHSRCL managing director Achal Khare had said that "After finalizing the alignment in October 2017, we appointed a consultant to decide the power requirement for the project. After a detailed study, we have finalized the locations of substations and how much power will be required at how many locations. We have also tied up with power distribution companies so that they can start work on the transmission lines."

NHSRCL is also planning to tap in solar energy under its green initiative. The solar panel will be installed at the rolling stock depots in Sabarmati and Thane, the High-Speed Rail Training Institute in Vadodara, and Sabarmati HSR Complex.

SR Sethi, a former member of Delhi Vidyut Board, insisting on the importance of solar energy and said, "Power requirement is not an issue in India today, because installed capacity is almost double the peak demand. The good thing is Railways is going for solar, which will take care of lighting of stations."