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Clean Power dutch train

Published on May 24th, 2014 | by Jake Richardson

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100% Of Dutch Electric Trains Could Run On Renewable Energy BY 2018

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May 24th, 2014 by  

One of the unofficial themes of the World Energy Innovation Forum which I attended recently at the Tesla Motors factory in Fremont was optimism about renewable energy developments. Just several days later, it was announced that all Dutch electric trains could be getting their power from renewable sources by 2018.

dutch train

A cooperative comprised of various local rail carriers called VIVENS (Verenigd Inkoop en Verbruik van Energie op het Nederlandse S) signed an agreement with the utility Eneco to deliver 1.4TWh of electricity to them. All of it will come from wind farms in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Belgium. A large number of rail carriers of both passengers and freight, including NS, will receive their power from the new contract. NS alone carries about 2.3 million passengers each day, though it also provides service in the UK and Germany. This one carrier has about 30,000 employees. (It claims to have cut energy consumption per passenger per kilometer approximately 30% since 2005 and that about 80% of its riders have indicated that green power for rail is preferable.)

The plan is to gradually phase in a percentage of trains running on wind power each year. For example, for NS, about 50% of its trains will run on wind power by 2015 and 70% by 2016, with 100% being the goal for 2018.

Freight rail plays a central role in the European economy and appears likely to expand, as noted by Wilma Mansveld, Dutch State Secretary for Infrastructure and the Environment. “In the Netherlands, rail transport is facing heavy weather. Yet rail freight grew last year. For example: in 2013 4% more trains passed the border between Germany and The Netherlands. While as many as 10% more trains crossed the border between Belgium and the Netherlands. As you know the Betuwe freight line to the German border was opened in 2007. By January 2014, 100,000 trains had used it. Every year 130,000 trains use the freight corridor between Rotterdam and Genoa. That is the equivalent of nearly 4 million trucks!”

Diesel trains will still be active in the Netherlands alongside electrics, but diesel exhaust has been found to be harmful to human health. Thousands of premature deaths each year have been linked to air pollution from diesel engines. Eventually, through the aging of the fleet, so to speak, and the development of more renewable energy sources, diesel locomotives may be replaced entirely.

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About the Author

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus.



  • http://www.CMAenergy.com David Chura

    They won’t be using any solar power when countries like Russia China and the States all consider fighting each other over mineral rights such as oil and land claims..
    It is always the biggest mouths of society trying to make their life better then others by acquiring more land and wealth
    Greed as it is called, and they thinking themselves as being the ones with all the answers and considering them selves as the one to be THE God of this world.
    Someone should do a covert operation on all these big mouthed leaders all at the same time!
    Wonder how that would go over?

  • Matt

    “The green electricity to be used by the carriers will be generated by new wind farms, which are yet to become operational in the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Belgium.”

  • heinbloed

    NS uses about 1 % of the entire Dutch electricity demand for themself.

  • No way

    Are they making sure new renewable electricity production is built? Or is it just them buying electricity from existing or already planned wind farms?
    It would have been more interesting if they made sure a wind farm was built in the Netherlands, they need all energy they can get that isn’t fossil.

    • DesertedPictures

      All energy will come from newly build farms. That’s why it will take a couple of years to get to 100% renewable energy. There where not enough locations where they could get permits for windfarm development on such short notice however: that’s why half of the new electricity production will be build outside the Netherlands. NS admitted it will be more expensive but ticket prices will not go up, because they use less energy now, then they did in the past.

      The author also mentioned diesel-trains. A little explanation is in order: they are only used in remote areas that are less trafic-intensive: those tracks have never been electrified.

      • No way

        Good :)

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