Elon Musk was right when he said that we should jump over to sustainable energy as soon as possible, and it looks like the Dutch are going to be taking a huge step in the right direction by 2018, when all of the country’s electric trains will be powered by wind energy exclusively. The plan is to ensure a steady transition over the next three years, which is not a lot of time considering the project’s incredible scale. According to Railway Technology, electric trains in the Netherlands reached a 50 percent wind power benchmark in 2014 thanks to an agreement between a Rotterdam-based energy supplier named Enco and a consortium of Dutch rail carriers named VIVENS.
The power benchmark is set to increase to 70 percent by 2016 and 95 percent by 2017, with 2018 being the year that marks the complete transition to wind-powered energy. Electric trains in the country carry about 1.2 million passengers every day.
The plan is to divide the wind energy input into two roughly equal parts, with one half coming in from domestic operations while the other is to be based on wind farms located in the nearby Scandinavian countries and Belgium. The splitting decision was explained by Enco account manager, Michel Kerkof:
“If the Dutch railways sourced 100% of the 1.4 tWh of energy they needed each year from within the Netherlands, this would decrease availability and increase prices of green power for other parties. That is why half of the demand will be sourced from a number of new wind farms in Belgium and Scandinavia, which have been specifically assigned for this contract. This partnership ensures that new investments can be made in even newer wind farms, which will increase the share of renewable energy. In this way, the Dutch railways aim to reduce the greatest negative environmental impact caused by CO2 in such a way that its demand actually contributes to the sustainable power generation in the Netherlands and Europe.”
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