Winds of Change For Dutch Trains
Author: Claire Bell
In a world first, NS Dutch Railways and Eneco have announced that the country's electric trains will be 100% powered by wind energy from 1st January 2017.
Historically, The Netherlands is known as a landscape dotted with windmills. It may now become known for its wind turbines. In a world first, NS Dutch Railways and partner, energy company Eneco, have announced the country's electric trains are now 100% powered by wind energy, as of January 1st, 2017.
The partnership has achieved this feat a full year ahead of the original target date of January 2018.
"Trains run exclusively on electricity from new renewable energy sources," said Eneco. "To make that possible, Eneco has invested in new wind farms and other green energy production with NS to make climate-neutral travel a reality."
The Netherlands has 2,200 wind farms and there are plans to invest in more. NS Railways consumes 1.2 billion kWh of wind electricity, transporting 600,000 passengers across their network daily.
The turbines work by wind turning the blades, which in turn spin a shaft connected to a generator, producing the electricity. It takes three strokes of a wind turbine to drive a train one kilometre.
The Victorian state government recently announced a similar scheme under which Melbourne's tram network would become fully solar powered. 75MW of solar farms will be built specifically to power the trams, with the first power plant expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
Other countries leading the way in renewable energy include Denmark, which produces 40% of its energy from renewable sources, with a target of 50% by 2020. Scotland recently produced more energy in one day from wind turbines than was used by the population, and Germany produces nearly 30% of its energy from renewable sources.
This Dutch achievement is a positive demonstration that renewable energy can in deed power a modern economy and society. It also sets an example - challenging the rest of the world to keep up.
There are many ways you can support renewable energy projects, here’s a few:
- Consider where your power comes from and find out if you can sign up for energy from renewable sources from local energy provider.
- Support businesses who are investing in renewable energy technology.
- Find out how your workplace could use energy from solar panels with Planet Ark Power.
Claire is Planet Ark's Recycling Campaign Manager. After working in the communications industry and raising a young family, she joined Planet Ark to follow her passion for helping the environment.
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