In line with the Modi government's push to reduce carbon footprints, India's largest public sector lender has said it plans to install solar panels on around 10,000 of its ATMs in the next two years. The bank also plans to replace its huge fleet of vehicles with electric ones across India by 2030. The bank has already installed solar panels on as many as 1,200 ATMs. The lender has also covered 150 of its buildings with rooftop solar panels and also plans to increase the number to 250 buildings by 2020.
"We are going to take this number to up to 10,000 ATMs in the next two years," the bank's chief financial officer Prashant Kumar said. The bank aims to turn carbon neutral by 2030. To spread the word, the lender plans to organise a green marathon in 15 cities across India soon.
The SBI has been focussing on installing solar-powered ATMs since 2008. It was the first bank in India to roll out solar-panel based ATMs in rural areas of the country in 2008. The next year, it ordered 300 solar ATMs from Chennai-based Vortex Engineering, and the number has now reached over 1,200. The solar panel ATMs are not only cost effective but easily scalable, transferable and adaptable as well.
India's solar energy capacity has gone up from 2.63 GW in 2014 to 22 GW currently, an eight-fold increase. Last year, India attained the fourth position globally in installed wind power, and its capacity has increased from 21 GW to 34 GW in the past four years.
Reports suggest India will add 227 GW of renewable energy capacity by March 2022. In the bargain, it might even scale up its ranking to the top three countries making investments in the sector, but that additional 52 GW capacity would demand an investment of $50 billion over the next couple of years.
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