All NS trains in the Netherlands now run on green power, thanks to partnership between NS (on behalf of the Dutch rail operators VIVENS) and Eneco.
Public transportation can make a huge difference when it comes to changing our way of travel, transforming it in order to secure a sustainable future. Rail companies, for example, with passenger trains are among the first ones in line that should embrace transitioning to renewable energy.
In the Netherlands, the train already was one of the most sustainable modes of travelling on longer distances. When Dutch electricity company Eneco teamed up with the national railway company NS two years ago and introduced the Green Train, symbolizing climate-neutral travel with its green exterior, they expected to make all of their trains 100% climate neutral by 2018. However, as reported by the NS, all their trains are already running on wind energy since 1 January, 2017, which is a whole year ahead of the initially planned date.
Starting in 2017, NS Dutch trains are giving travellers - 600,000 daily - the opportunity to travel truly clean, with no CO2-emissions. NS expetcs the energy used per passenger per kilometre should be reduced by 35% by 2020 compared to 2005 levels.
According to NS, it consumes around 1.2 TWh of electricity to run the trains and to provide this electricity in a clean, environmentally friendly way, Eneco is building a new windmill park. NS also expects to gradually implement green electricity in its buildings, buses and road vehicles in the coming years.
In a press release, Ron Wit, Director of Public Affairs at Eneco, said that their "mission is to provide everyone with 100% sustainable energy from renewable sources. Of all the energy companies in the Netherlands, Eneco currently has the largest generating capacity for green energy, such as wind farms, solar panels, and bio-energy plants. We are on the Green Train because we want to encourage people to get on board with us – figuratively – and help step up our efforts to prevent global warming."
In his predictions for the year 2050, he added that h eis "confident that the sun will be our main source of energy by 2050. By that time solar cells will be integrated into various materials and be part and parcel of our outdoor space. The energy industry as we know it will cease to exist. Energy will be an integral part of other economic sectors and will continuously be exchanged. Consider for example heating/cooling systems in buildings, or charging electric car batteries, as ways of balancing the local supply and demand of electricity."