Dutch trains are expected to run completely on green energy as soon as 2018. On May 15th, 2014, Vivens, an energy procurement joint venture including the Netherlands Railways (NS), Veolia, Arriva, Connexxion and rail-freight operators signed a contract with the power company Eneco. This contract, signed between 2015 and 2025, states that all Dutch trains will run on wind energy alone starting 2018. At the present time, only about 50% of them run on wind energy.
[Image Courtesy of railway-technology.com]
The account manager at Eneco, Michel Kerkhof, claims that this contract is set to revolutionize the way green energy is obtained and used not only in the railway sector, but also in other sectors as well.
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“What makes this contract and partnership unique is that a whole sector decreases its CO2 footprint enormously and sets an example for other sectors to follow,”Kerkhof said. “Mobility is responsible for 20% of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands, and if we want to keep travelling, it is important that we do this without burdening the environment with CO2 and particulate matter. This contract offers all Dutch citizens the option to make a climate neutral trip, regardless of distance.”
The Dutch rail network carries up to 1.2 million passengers per day and consumes 1.4 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity per year. The ProRail track is 2900km long and is powered by a 1.5kV DC power supply. The aim is that by 2018, all the energy required by the railway sector would be provided by Eneco. This energy is to be 100% green in the form of wind energy and will be generated from wind farms all across the country and overseas. Due to the massive amount of energy required, only half the amount can be generated within the Netherlands. The other half would come from wind farms located in Belgium and Scandinavia.
The world is currently headed towards green energy to provide a safer environment for our generation and upcoming generations to live in. Over the years, very interesting designs that utilize the natural energy, such as the Barsha irrigation pump, have been made. And it will only get better.